A United Nations report released today finds nearly half of the adults living with H-I-V around the globe are women, but in Iowa just one-in-five who’ve been diagnosed with H-I-V are female. Randy Mayer is the H-I-V/AIDS surveillance coordinator for the state of Iowa. At the end of September, 12-hundred-seven Iowans had been diagnosed with H-I-V or AIDS. About 21 percent of that group is women. Mayer says the percentage of Iowa women with H-I-V or AIDS is growing, but it’s a deceptive statistic. He says the number of Iowans being diagnosed with H-I-V or AIDS has been relatively stable, yet the number of men being diagnosed with the disease has been on the decline. Mayer says because such a large number of cases have been men, a lot of the “safe sex” messages have been targeted to men who’re having sex with other men. In addition, he says there are relatively few Iowans, especially women, who’re being diagnosed with H-I-V, and it’s difficult to reduce a number that’s already quite low. The first case of H-I-V in Iowa was reported in 1982. Since then, eight-hundred-17 Iowans have died of AIDS. Another 16 who’d been diagnosed with H-I-V died before it turned into AIDS. Just over 37 million adults around the globe have H-I-V.
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