|March 8, 2002||1991 - 2000 Statewide AIDS
1995 - 2000 AIDS Deaths by County
AIDS-RELATED DEATHS DOWN 68 PERCENT SINCE 1995
SPRINGFIELD, IL AIDS-related deaths fell 13 percent in 2000, continuing a sharp downward spiral in fatalities that began several years ago with the introduction of new potent drug combination therapies that fight the AIDS virus, the Illinois Department of Public Health today announced.
"We are heartened that the number of Illinoisans succumbing to HIV/AIDS has been significantly reduced," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "The remarkable breakthroughs in medical care that began with the approval of new protease drugs in December 1995 have helped those infected with HIV to delay both symptoms and death."
In 2000, 477 Illinoisans died of AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, down from 546 deaths in 1999 and a 68 percent reduction since the state saw an all-time high of 1,494 HIV/AIDS deaths in 1995. The number of HIV/AIDS deaths was the lowest annual total since 378 were recorded in 1987.
Illinois HIV deaths among men fell 17 percent, from 440 in 1999 to 365 in 2000, but rose slightly among women, from 106 in 1999 to 112 in 2000.
Along racial lines, deaths among African Americans decreased 21 percent, from 354 in 1999 to 280 in 2000. Deaths among whites increased from 191 in 1999 to 196 in 2000.
In Chicago, AIDS-related deaths dropped from 362 in 1999 to 304 in 2000. Suburban Cook County deaths fell from 79 in 1999 to 74 in 2000.
Dr. Lumpkin said further reductions in HIV deaths will depend on biomedical research to develop even more effective therapies, on prevention efforts, and on increased HIV testing and early treatment.
"Potent drug combinations have revolutionized HIV/AIDS care and are responsible for saving thousands of lives," Dr. Lumpkin said. "But we must not lose sight of the fact that the best way to stop the AIDS epidemic is by preventing HIV infection in the first place."
About 26,300 persons from Illinois have been diagnosed with AIDS since the disease was first identified in 1981 and 59 percent of them have died. An estimated 35,000 others may be infected and living with HIV.
AIDS-related deaths in Illinois ranked as high as the ninth leading cause of death for all age groups in 1995, but fell out of the top 20 causes of death in 1999 and 2000. HIV/AIDS, however, remained as the sixth leading cause of death for persons 25 to 44 years of age in 1999 (319) and 2000 (287). In 2000, HIV/AIDS deaths trailed accidents (1,218), malignant neoplasms (893), heart diseases (822), homicide (397) and suicide (393) as the leading cause of death among persons 25 to 44 years of age.
Since 1990, the numbers of HIV/AIDS deaths have been as follows: 1991, 1,050; 1992, 1,212; 1993, 1,439; 1994, 1,482; 1995, 1,494; 1996, 1,186; 1997, 569; 1998, 515; 1999, 546; and 2000, 477.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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