The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) yearly HIV Disease Surveillance Report shows in 2016, Iowa experienced the largest number of people diagnosed with HIV since reporting by name began in 1989. Additionally, there was a notable increase in black/African American Iowans diagnosed with HIV in 2016. U.S.-born blacks/African Americans diagnosed with HIV increased by 75 percent from 2015; foreign-born blacks/African Americans diagnosed with HIV increased by 110 percent. Although black/African Americans represent just 3 percent of Iowa’s general population, they make up 32 percent of all HIV diagnoses.
“There are many contributing factors to these increases,” said IDPH Bureau of HIV, STD and Hepatitis chief Randy Mayer. “However, we see this as a sign that targeted outreach efforts are reaching those at most risk of HIV in Iowa. It’s likely also a sign of improved access to health care.”
In 2016, 136 Iowans were diagnosed with HIV. People aged 25 through 44 years continue to make up the largest proportion (54 percent) of those diagnosed with HIV. The number of youth and young adults aged 15 through 24 years diagnosed with HIV fell from an all-time high of 33 in 2015 to 28 (21 percent) last year.
The proportion of people diagnosed with AIDS within three months of their initial HIV diagnosis (known as “late testers”) continued to drop. In 2013, 46 percent of people diagnosed were considered to be late testers. In 2016, only 24 percent diagnosed were late. This confirms those at risk for HIV are getting timelier access to testing.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) remained the leading exposure category for HIV in Iowa; of the 136 people diagnosed with HIV, 79 (58 percent) were among MSM. To see the entire 2016 State of Iowa HIV Disease End-of-Year Surveillance Report, visit https://www.idph.iowa.gov/hivstdhep/hiv/data.