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

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
The Florida Department of Health has revised the number of new HIV cases downward.

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.


Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFEin 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.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.