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HIV In Florida: The Rising Tide of Infection Series

Thirty years ago, a HIV-positive diagnosis was a death sentence, and gay men and IV-drug users were most likely to get infected.

Today, the demographics of infection have changed a lot, and advancements in drug treatment that make HIV a "chronic disease" have created a new set of problems.

WUSF’s Florida Matters is sharing stories from the Health New Florida series HIV in Florida: The Rising Tide of Infection. 

Sex Doesn’t Get Safer With Age

Older people, like anyone who's having unprotected sex, are at risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, and HIV. In 2013, when Florida led the nation in the number of new HIV cases, nearly a quarter of those diagnosed were age 50 and older.

Prom Queen, 18, and HIV Positive

About 1,000 youth a year are diagnosed with HIV in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Florida, roughly 15 percent of all new HIV infections happen to people who haven’t hit their 25th birthday.

More HIV Education Could Dispel Myths

Health News Florida spoke with Diane Straub is medical director at the Tampa’s Ybor Youth Clinic about how young people infected now with HIV are facing different challenges and a different reality than Floridians infected decades ago.

Transgender Women Vulnerable to HIV

Florida’s transgender community, specifically trans women, are among the groups most at risk of contracting HIV. Limited federal studies estimate that a third of transgender women are HIV positive.

Black Straight Men Ignored in HIV Prevention

Forty-one percent of new infections in Florida are in the black community.  And many of those getting infected are straight black men, a group observers and HIV specialists say are not being included in HIV prevention efforts.

Living With HIV a Rollercoaster

Florida has overtaken California as the state with the most new HIV infections – a total of 5,377 new cases in 2013. Nearly half were among men who have sex with men.

Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF.