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Study: Milwaukee has above average HIV cases; Wisconsin about average

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Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Six of every 10 young people who have the AIDS virus don’t know it – and just one of every five sexually-active high school students have been tested for HIV.

That’s according to a study in Milwaukee and other selected U.S. metro areas.

The Centers for Disease Control announced the results Tuesday, saying that 1,000 young people a month are getting infected with the virus that causes AIDS. And after 30 years of fighting the disease, CDC director Thomas Frieden called the situation unacceptable.

In Wisconsin, only 3 of every 100,000 residents have HIV, which is about the same as the national average. But Milwaukee County has 22 infected residents for every 100,000 – and 90 percent of those cases are in the city of Milwaukee.

Officials said three-fourths of new HIV cases involve sexual contact between males, and 20 percent come from heterosexual activity.

Younger gay black males have had their biggest increase in HIV cases – 218 percent over the last decade.

AIDS used to be considered a death sentence when it was first discovered in the 1980’s. But while doctors say it’s now treatable, officials say HIV is an expensive disease that can never totally be cured.

The study showed that a single patient will have $400,000 in related medical care throughout the person’s lifetime. 

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