FL’s HIV Figures Revised Downward – But Not Without Controversy

Mar 30, 2016

The Florida Department of Health has lowered the number of people who caught HIV in Florida.

That’s according to a story in the Tampa Bay Times. Florida previously had the most new HIV infections of any state. But officials revised the stats, removing more than 1,500 cases and making Florida third in the country for new HIV infections.

Florida’s former Surgeon General John Armstrong was criticized for cutting health department staff and budgets while Florida led the nation with the most new HIV infections. The Florida Senate declined to confirm Armstrong to the state’s top health post this Legislative session.

The Tampa Bay Times reported the revisions this weekend and quotes several experts as saying the adjustment raises questions. The Florida Department of Health shot back, though, with the interim director saying the paper quote “cherry-picked data to fit a predetermined conclusion.”

The state says it removed duplicate cases and people who tested in Florida but live in another state.

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Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.