|February 1, 2002||Statewide Reported AIDS Cases, 2000 -
Reported AIDS Cases by County, 1991-2001
AIDS Cases by Diagnosis and Report Years
REPORTED AIDS CASES DECLINE 34 PERCENT
SPRINGFIELD, IL After two years of increasing AIDS caseloads, the number of AIDS cases reported in Illinois last year dropped by more than one-third to the lowest level in 11 years, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, today announced.
"While any reduction in AIDS cases is cause for optimism, we must not lose sight of the fact that there are too many people in our state stricken by this disease and hundreds of lives are lost to AIDS each year," Dr. Lumpkin said. "HIV/AIDS is a preventable disease and it is incumbent on all of us in public health to continue to educate the public about how the disease is transmitted."
There were 1,212 AIDS cases reported in 2001, a 34 percent decrease compared with the 1,824 cases reported in 2000. The state's total caseload last year was the lowest since 1990 when 1,200 cases were reported. Since the AIDS epidemic first began in 1981, Illinois has counted 26,198 AIDS cases, the sixth highest total in the United States.
Increases in case totals reported in 1999 (up 32 percent from 1998) and 2000 (up 13 percent from 1999) are believed to be the result of health care providers heeding the Department's call for better reporting of HIV and AIDS cases. In 1999, the state and local health departments initiated an aggressive campaign to inform health care providers of a new patient code identifier system for reporting HIV cases and to emphasize the importance of reporting AIDS cases, even those previously not reported.
When reviewing records for compliance with the new HIV requirements, health care providers came across AIDS cases that should have been reported years before but, for numerous reasons, had not been turned in.
"We are analyzing the different factors that may account for the recent fluctuations in case totals, but the most likely reason for the recent increases is health care providers submitting previously unreported cases," Dr. Lumpkin said. "We will continue to work with local health departments to ensure we have an accurate accounting of all AIDS cases."
Of the 1,212 cases reported last year, 51 percent were diagnosed in 2001. In comparison, 40 percent of the 1,612 cases reported in 1999 were actually diagnosed that year and 36 percent of the 1,824 reported in 2000 were diagnosed in that calendar year.
As has been the case since the early 1990s, the AIDS epidemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on African Americans. In 2001, African Americans, who represent 15 percent of the state's population, accounted for 58 percent (701) of all the new cases reported. Reported cases among whites were 28 percent (334) of the total and Hispanics accounted for 13 percent (163).
Ten years ago, whites represented 48 percent of the new cases reported, 40 percent were African Americans and 11 percent were Hispanic.
Since AIDS cases were first identified in 1981, the Department has recorded 10,244 cases among whites (39 percent), 12,589 cases among African Americans (48 percent) and 3,155 cases among Hispanics (12 percent).
Men accounted for 964 of the cases (80 percent) reported in 2001 compared with 248 cases among women. The number of cases among men was down 419 in 2001, while cases among women dropped 193. Women represent 20 percent of the cases reported in 2001, compared with 24 percent in 2000 and just 11 percent in 1991.
Men who have sex with men remained the highest risk factor, accounting for 49 percent (472) of the male cases, but far below the 70 percent reported a decade ago. The next highest risk category for men was injection drug use (18 percent, down from 21 percent in 2000) and then heterosexual contact (7 percent, up from 6 percent in 2000).
Among women, heterosexual contact was the most common risk factor named, with 33 percent (down 1 percent from 2000), followed by injection drug use at 28 percent (up from 27 percent in 2000). In 1991, 54 percent of the cases among women were attributable to injection drug use and 31 percent to heterosexual contact.
Geographically, reported AIDS cases in the metropolitan Chicago area dropped by more than 600 cases to 985, while downstate cases fell by six to 227. Metropolitan Chicago cases represented 81 percent of the state total.
of Public Health
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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