Friday, June 28, 2013

147 of every 100,000 adults/teens has HIV in El Paso County

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 9:20 AM

That's the truth, and while that may sound alarming, consider that Miami-Dade County, though a much larger city, registers at 1,208 people for every 100,000.

We know this thanks to AIDSVu, a highly detailed interactive map that allows you to view the spread of AIDS across the U.S.

Each state is then broken down by county, each registering a different color based on the number of infections recorded there (naturally, the darker the color, the higher the number). The data, though now three years old, is carefully compiled by local and state health departments, which are then reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which then double-checks it.

AIDSVu receives that data, and then goes on to report other factors that are similarly mapped, like race, median household income, poverty, the number of uninsured people in the area and sex.

Some states have such low rates their data was withheld altogether, according to AIDSVu.
  • AIDSVu
  • Some states have such low rates their data was withheld altogether, according to AIDSVu.

Which brings us back to El Paso County, which shares similar statistics with Saguache, Lincoln and Summit counties. Fremont and Denver counties reported the highest numbers in the state, however the study notes that some rates are inflated due to the presence of correctional facilities.

The map does even more. It allows you to compare your county or state's HIV diagnoses with, say, the percentage of the population living in poverty side by side. Unsurprisingly, the rate of diagnoses goes up with the rate of poverty. Others are murkier, with no direct lines between the disease and other social factors, but it's worth noting that HIV has a long dormancy period, so many patients go years without knowing they are infected, which skews the data.

Persons living with HIV vs. percentage lacking health insurance.
  • AIDSVu
  • Persons living with HIV vs. percentage lacking health insurance.

It also offers a state profile, comparing the prevalence of HIV among races and how the state's stats line up against national averages. From there, you can also view state funding toward HIV care, awareness and prevention, and even find a local clinic for testing.

Zooming back out, it's quite the tool for understanding the spread of HIV country-wide, and observing the unbiased facts on the prevalence of poverty, lack of health insurance and a high school education and rates of disease.

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