– Cover Story-
Iowa Makes Significant Progress in Reducing Transmission of HIV – Launches Plan to End the Epidemic
Is There More Work To Be Done on the Criminal Transmission Statute?
By Tim Nedoba
Editors note – Watch GoGuideMagazine.com for additional expert analysis & summaries.
Des Moines, IA – The United States Government has launched an aggressive mandate to bring to an end the spread of new infections or diagnosis of HIV in America. Each state’s Public Health Department has the same charge. Each has the same goal. The CDC has made federal funding available to each state through grant programs. Iowa Department of Public Health has taken advantage of these grants and have used them to promote IDPH programming.
As part of the plan, the federal government plans to target top 48 counties with the highest HIV transmissions. None of these top 48 counties reside in the state of Iowa. However, that doesn’t change the mission here at home.
The HIV Challenge
A 75% reduction in new infections or new diagnosis by 2025, and a 90% reduction by 2030.
“Iowa is first in the nation in our rate of viral suppression among people diagnosed with HIV (81% are virally suppressed), and that has led to the 30% reduction in diagnoses over the last three years,”
Randy Mayer, MS, MPH; Chief Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis; Director | Office of Medical Cannabidiol | Iowa Dept. of Public Health
HIV/AIDS – HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It harms your immune system by destroying the white blood cells that fight infection. It damages your immune system by destroying white blood cells putting one at risk for severe infections and certain cancers. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the final stage of the disease with HIV.
TasP – Treatment as prevention is a concept in public health that promotes treatment as a way to prevent and reduce the likelihood of HIV illness, death, and transmission from an infected individual to others.
PrEP – Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a course of HIV drugs taken by HIV-negative people to prevent infection
PEP – Post-exposure prophylaxis means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after a potentially high-risk exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected.
ART – Antiretroviral therapy is the use of HIV medicines to treat an HIV infection
MSM – Men that have sex with men
U=U – Undetectable = Untransmittable’ is a campaign explaining how the sexual transmission of HIV can be stopped. Editors note – More on U=U later in this article, which will include a look at the criminalization of the transmission of HIV laws. Iowa is one of those states with such requirements.
HIV in Iowa
Iowans Diagnosed with HIV
There were 116 Iowans diagnosed with HIV in 2018, an 8% decrease from 2017. As seen in Figure 3.1, the number of people diagnosed with HIV since 2008 peaked in 2016 at 137, and has now decreased for two years in a row. The 137 people diagnosed with HIV in 2016 was the largest number ever recorded in a single year in Iowa since HIV reporting began in 1998. Not all populations experienced a decrease in diagnoses in 2018. In particular, diagnoses increased among those 25 to 44 years of age, those with heterosexual exposures, and females.
Racial and ethnic minorities are over-represented
Diagnoses among non-Hispanic black/African American people decreased from 39 (31% o fall people diagnosed) in 2017 to 33 (28% of all people diagnosed) in 2018. The decrease in diagnoses among people who are black/African American was among U.S.-born black/African-American people, who experienced a 26% decrease in diagnoses. In contrast, diagnoses among foreign-born black/African American people increased by 8%. Non-Hispanic black/African Americans represent 3% of Iowa’s general population but experienced 28% of new HIV diagnoses in 2018. Males account for 15 (75%) of the 20 U.S-born black/African American, non-Hispanic people diagnosed in 2018. Among these, 11 (73%) identified as men who have sex with men (MSM). Of the 33 black/African American, non-Hispanic persons diagnosed in 2018, 13 (39%) were foreign-born. Similarly, 38% of foreign-born black/African Americans who were diagnosed were males. Hispanic/Latino people represent 6% of Iowa’s population but experienced 12% of HIV diagnoses in 2018. Of the 14 Hispanic persons diagnosed, half were foreign-born. Of the seven foreign-born Hispanic persons, six were male and MSM. Similarly, all five U.S.-born Hispanic male persons diagnosed with HIV in 2018 were MSM.
HIV prevalence by Iowa county
As of December 31, 2018, there were 2,872 people with a current address in Iowa who were diagnosed and living with HIV. This is a prevalence of 90 per 100,000 persons. As of December 31, 2018, 95 of Iowa’s 99 counties had at least one resident living with HIV. Prevalence in eight counties was greater than 100 per 100,000 population (0.1%). Polk County, with 170 per 100,000, has the highest prevalence, followed by Pottawattamie County (138 per 100,000) and Scott County (137 per 100,000).
Source – “2018 End of Year Report – HIV Surveillance.” The report is authored by the