State health officials say the AIDS epidemic in Africa is having some impact in Iowa, too. One out of every ten Iowa residents who has been diagnosed with H-I-V is foreign born. Randy Mayer is the H-I-V/AIDS surveillance coordinator for the state of Iowa. Mayer says he and other officials have been closely watching the number of foreign-born people living in Iowa who were being diagnosed with H-I-V or AIDS because it had been increasing dramatically since 1999. But in 2002 and 2003, the trend slowed. Mayer says some of that is due to a decline in the number of hispanics who’re diagnosed with H-I-V and AIDS. Mayer guesses that may be because of enhanced border controls after 9/11, but he says there continues to be an increase in the number of African-born people who’re living in Iowa and diagnosed with H-I-V or AIDS. At the end of September, 12-hundred-seven Iowans had been diagnosed with H-I-V or AIDS. The majority of Iowa residents who have H-I-V are white. About 18 percent are black and about eight percent are hispanic. Twelve percent are foreign-born. The average age of an Iowan who’s diagnosed with H-I-V is 39. Mayer says that goes against pre-conceived notions about the typical person with H-I-V or AIDS. “A large percentage of our cases are male; they tend to be older at the time of diagnosis,” Mayer says.
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