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More Than 4,000 New HIV/AIDS Cases in Texas Each Year

PHOTO: It's recommended that everyone, regardless of risk, get an HIV test at least once in his or her lifetime. Today is World's AIDS Day. Photo credit: Bordecia34/Flickr.
PHOTO: It's recommended that everyone, regardless of risk, get an HIV test at least once in his or her lifetime. Today is World's AIDS Day. Photo credit: Bordecia34/Flickr.
December 1, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas – Today marks the observance of World AIDS Day, and while much progress has been made in treating AIDS, the number of new HIV infections in Texas remains high.

Shelley Lucas, manager of the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch of the Texas Department of State Health Services, says the good news is that with more effective treatments, people with HIV can live normal lifespans.

"The not-so-great news is that we have a stubbornly persistent number of new infections each year,” she adds. “It ranges anywhere from about 4,000 to 5,000 new cases of HIV, diagnosed each year."

The number of Texans who are now living with HIV is 76,000. And it's estimated that another 13,000 people in the state are infected, but unaware because they have not been tested.

Lucas notes it is recommended that everyone, regardless of risk, be tested at least once, and says early detection is key.

"We now know that for persons who are in care and on therapy, if they do achieve viral suppression, it prevents their disease progression, and it also can prevent the spread of their infection to others," she says.

As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide and an estimated 35 million are living with HIV.


John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX