Patricia Young has educated Iowans about human immunodeficiency virus for more than 20 years, currently as HIV prevention program manager for the Iowa Department of Public Health. While the disease isn’t in the news as much as it was early on in her career, she said it still carries a stigma.
Q. What’s the HIV rate in Iowa?
In Iowa, an average of 111 persons are diagnosed annually. The greatest number occurs from ages 25 to 44. As of December 2011, there were 1,939 Iowans living with the disease. We also estimate one in five people do not know they are infected.
One of our concerns is the percentage of people with HIV who see an AIDS diagnosis within a year. Our rate is at 47 percent, which is pretty high. With new life-saving treatments, it’s important to get tested early and not wait until you are quite ill.