February 15, 2001
|Statewide Reported AIDS Cases,
Reported AIDS Cases by County, 1991-2000
AIDS Cases by Diagnosis and Report Years
AIDS CASES UP FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
SPRINGFIELD, IL Although the number of AIDS cases reported in Illinois last year showed an increase for the second consecutive year, the upswing most likely is the result of better compliance in reporting older cases rather than a sudden resurgence in the disease, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, today announced.
"There are numerous factors that may explain the increased numbers, but the inescapable fact, no matter whether the statistics are up or down, is we still have much work to do before AIDS is brought under control," Dr. Lumpkin said. "We must never lose sight of the fact HIV/AIDS is a preventable disease and the best way to stop its spread is by providing the public with information about how it is transmitted."
There were 1,781 AIDS cases reported in 2000, bringing the cumulative total in Illinois since 1981 to 24,934, the sixth highest total in the United States. Although the number of cases increased by 224 in 2000 over 1999, since 1994 there has been a 41 percent drop in the state's AIDS caseload.
Dr. Lumpkin said increases in reported cases the past two years, including a 24 percent jump in 1999 over 1998, can be attributed, in large part, to health care providers heeding the Department's call for better reporting of HIV and AIDS cases. The number of AIDS cases reported to the Department increased in mid-1999 after a concerted effort was launched by the state and local health departments to inform health care providers of the new patient code identifier system for reporting HIV cases and to emphasize to them the importance of reporting AIDS cases.
Of the 1,781 cases reported last year, only 36 percent, or 634, were actually diagnosed in 2000. The other 64 percent of the cases were identified from previous years, some as far back as 1988. In 1999, 41 percent of the 1,557 cases reported were diagnosed that year.
When reviewing records to gather HIV reports over the past 18 months, health care providers have come across AIDS cases that should have been reported years before but, for whatever reason, had not been turned in, Dr. Lumpkin said.
As for prevention, Dr. Lumpkin said it has become more difficult since the late 1990s, when caseloads were dropping, to get people to heed the warnings about HIV and AIDS. In addition, he said, medical advances in the treatment of HIV, although adding years to the lives of those with the lifelong infection, also led to a dangerous climate of complacency.
"Unfortunately, a growing number of people appear to be relying too much on treatment advances, ignoring prevention messages and returning to high-risk behavior," Dr. Lumpkin said. "Each new generation needs to be reminded that HIV and AIDS are life-threatening diseases and about the importance of prevention."
While originally the AIDS epidemic primarily affected white men, it has diversified and now disproportionately impacts African Americans and is increasing faster among women.
African Americans, who represent 13 percent of the state's population, accounted for 59 percent (1,053) of the new cases reported in 2000. Reported cases among whites were 26 percent (462) of the total and Hispanics accounted for 14 percent (241). In 1990, in comparison, whites accounted for 49 percent of the new cases reported that year, 37 percent were African Americans and 14 percent were Hispanics.
Since reporting began in 1981, the Department has recorded 9,895 cases among whites (40 percent), 11,866 cases among African Americans (48 percent) and 2,982 cases among Hispanics (12 percent).
Men accounted for 1,354 of the cases (76 percent) reported in 2000 compared with 427 cases among women. The number of cases among men was up 81 in 2000, while cases among women increased 143. Women represent 24 percent of the cases reported in 2000 compared with only 7 percent of the cases in 1990.
Men who have sex with men remained the highest risk factor, accounting for 43 percent (588) of the male cases, but this is significantly down from the 54 percent reported in 1999 and the 73 percent in 1990. The next highest risk category for men was injection drug use (22 percent, the same as 1999) and then heterosexual contact (6 percent, down from 7 percent in 1999) and a combination of men who have sex with men and injection drug use (4 percent, down from 5 percent in 1999).
Among women, heterosexual contact was the most common risk factor named, with 34 percent (down from 35 percent in 1999), followed by injection drug use at 27 percent (down from 36 percent in 1999). In 1990, 45 percent of the cases among women were attributable to injection drug use and 27 percent from heterosexual contact.
Geographically, reported AIDS cases in the metropolitan Chicago area increased in 2000 by 197 over 1999 to a total of 1,561, while downstate cases rose by 27 to 220. Metropolitan Chicago cases represented 88 percent of the state total, the same percentage as 1999 and the same percentage recorded in 1990.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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