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HIV-AIDS rate is increasing across Florida: HIV/AIDS is at a 'critical' level for men in Florida, a new study has found.
 
 
  BY FRED TASKER
ftasker@MiamiHerald.com
 
HIV/AIDS among Florida's men has reached critical levels, according to a new state report, and the highest rate in any racial/ethnic groups was in Miami-Dade County.
 
Overall, one in every 123 adult men in Florida was living with HIV/AIDS through 2008, said the report called Man Up: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS Among Florida's Men, by the Florida Department of Health. Overall, 90,000 Floridians age 13 years and over were living with HIV//AIDS. And 72 percent of them were men.
 
Overall, African-American men are still hardest hit by HIV/AIDS in terms of the overall infection rate. Statewide, one in 43 African-American men was living with HIV/AIDS. compared with one in 117 Hispanic men and one in 209 non-Hispanic men.
 
However, the proportion of African Americans among newly infected men declined dramatically between 1999 and 2008.
 
In 2008, persons living with HIV/AIDS included:
 
· In Miami-Dade, one in 60 non-Hispanic white men, one in 82 Hispanic men and one in 29 African-American men.
 
· In Broward, one in 76 non-Hispanic white men, one in 98 Hispanic men and one in 42 African-American men.
 
Florida's population is 61 percent non-Hispanic white, 22 percent Hispanic, 15 percent African-America and 3 percent other.
 
Florida's share of the nation's HIV/AIDS cases remains high. In 2006, Florida had 5,550 new infections -- nearly 10 percent of the 56,500 new cases in the entire country.
 
It's important to know where to target messages about fighting HIV/AIDS, the report said, because ''HIV transmission can be prevented with successful behavior change among those already infected.''
 
''This report seeks to encourage men to 'man up' and take responsibility for the consequences of their sexual actions.''
 
It urged Florida's men to ''be faithful, use condoms, get tested for HIV, be honest with sexual partners, seek treatment, get an annual physical exam and challenge societal expectations of men that may encourage unsafe behaviors .''
 
 
 
 
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