Indicator 6: HIV/AIDS Related Deaths
There are nearly five million Americans whose drug-use and high risk behaviors
have put them at a higher risk for contracting AIDS (Center for Disease Control,[CDC]).
Injection-drug users now have the highest rates of new HIV infections (Leland,
J., and Katel, P., 1996, August 26). The 1999 Austin Eligible Metropolitan
Area (EMA) Epidemiological Report reports a 16 percent decrease in the number
of diagnosed AIDS cases between 1992 (440) and 1997 (273). This decrease
is attributed to successful intervention and treatment. However, it is expected
that intravenous drug use will cause "more newly diagnosed cases by the turn
of the century" (Partnership for Community Health, 1999). Overall disparities
exist between African-American men and women, with women being disproportionately
higher than men (See Figure 8-19).
The Centers for Disease Control reports that African-American and Hispanic
women together represent less than one fourth of all U.S. women, yet they account
for more than three fourths of AIDS cases reported to date among women in this
country (CDC). Travis County data are consistent with U.S. numbers. In Travis
County (1998), deaths related to HIV and intravenous drug use was proportionately
higher among minorities, ages 18-99 (68% minority males and 70% minority females).
The Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics (Epigram TX) reports
a significant disparity related to the proportion of African-American male
(44 percent) and female deaths (70 percent) compared to the deaths of other
intravenous drug users. Anglo male and female deaths combined were less than
African-American females. The 1998 data report there were 24 percent male Hispanic
deaths and zero deaths for HIV and intravenous drug use among Hispanic women.
Overall in the country and in Travis County, African Americans have been disproportionately
affected by HIV and AIDS. The U.S. Public Health Service has estimated the
lifetime cost for providing medical care to one person with HIV disease is
$119,000. Consequently, the reported 3,431 Travis County AIDS cases (1983-2000)
could cost the healthcare system approximately $408,289,000 (Epigram TX). Currently,
there is no cure for AIDS; control of the virus can be achieved only through
education and primary prevention including modification of personal behavioral
- Twenty-six percent or 908 of the Travis County AIDS cases presented
between 1983 and 2000 reported injecting drug use as a possible factor
in their transmission.
Statewide there have been 51,707 cases reported in this time period.
Twenty-three percent or 11,901 reported injected drug use (TDH, 2000).
- In 1999, there were 106 new adult AIDS cases in Travis County. Of the
adult cases, 16 percent, or 17 people, reported injecting drug use
as a possible factor in their transmission. Statewide the rate was 27 percent,
to 750 of 3,086 cases (TDH, 2000).
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