|April 30, 2004||2002 Statewide HIV/AIDS Deaths
2002 Reported HIV/AIDS Deaths by County
HIV/AIDS DEATHS CONTINUE TO DECLINE
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- AIDS-related deaths in Illinois dropped by 5 percent in 2002, continuing a downward trend that has seen HIV/AIDS fatalities in the state fall by two-thirds since the mid-1990s when potent new drugs were introduced to stop the replication of the virus that causes AIDS.
"With these drug therapies many persons who otherwise would have died from the disease are able to lead more normal lives," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. "Progress in treating and managing this devastating disease in recent years has been very encouraging, but people are still dying and new cases continue to be reported."
"Rather than hope for a cure someday, the best way to stop the AIDS epidemic is to prevent HIV infection cases from occurring in the first place," Dr. Whitaker said. "We must continue to educate people on how this disease is transmitted and encourage them to make informed choices about their sexual and needle sharing behaviors."
Dr. Whitaker reminded people the most effective way to prevent the transmission of HIV is to practice safe sex, such as consistently and correctly using a latex condom, and not sharing needles to use illegal drugs.
In 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 489 Illinoisans died of AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, down from 514 deaths in 2001 and a 67 percent reduction since the state saw an all-time high of 1,494 HIV/AIDS deaths in 1995.
Illinois HIV deaths among men fell from 393 in 2001 to 353 in 2002, but rose slightly among women, from 121 in 2001 to 136 in 2002.
Along racial lines, African-American deaths accounted for 66 percent of all fatalities, although blacks represent just 15.6 percent of the state's population. The number of African-American deaths decreased slightly from 336 in 2001 to 323 in 2002.
Deaths among whites fell from 174 in 2001 to 162 in 2002. Hispanic deaths increased by one from 2001 to 48 in 2002.
In Chicago, AIDS-related deaths dropped from 348 in 2001 to 317 in 2002. Suburban Cook County deaths stayed the same - 63 in 2001 and 63 in 2002. Downstate HIV-AIDS deaths increased from 103 in 2001 to 109 in 2002.
About 30,500 persons from Illinois have been diagnosed with AIDS since the disease was first identified in 1981 and 54 percent of them have died. An estimated 35,000 others may be infected and living with HIV.
AIDS-related deaths in Illinois were the ninth leading cause of death for all age groups in 1995, but have now fallen to the 21st leading cause of death in 2002. For persons 25 to 44 years of age, however, it ranks as the sixth leading cause of death behind accidents (1,186), cancer (873), heart diseases (811), suicide (435) and homicide (433).
Since 1993, the numbers of HIV/AIDS deaths have been as follows: 1993, 1,439; 1994, 1,482; 1995, 1,494; 1996, 1,186; 1997, 569; 1998, 515; 1999, 546; 2000, 477; 2001, 514; and 2002, 489.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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