HIV rate remains epidemic among black women in DC

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According to the Washington Post, the rate of HIV positive, heterosexual, poor African-American females in Washington DC has doubled since 2008. The city’s Department of Health reports that the number has increased from 6.3 percent in 2008 to  12.1 percent today, keeping the disease at levels considered to be epidemic.

The HIV infection rate for heterosexual African American women in the District’s poorest neighborhoods nearly doubled in two years, from 6.3 percent to 12.1 percent, according to a study released Wednesday by the D.C. Department of Health.

The large increase reflects wider testing of people who were previously unaware of their status and possibly a still-rising rate of new infections in that high-risk group, officials said.

The disease remains at epidemic levels in Washington. In releasing the study, District health officials announced new recommendations for doctors and other health-care providers to start treatment immediately for all people newly diagnosed with HIV instead of waiting for evidence that someone’s immune system has been severely damaged.

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