LUBBOCK, TX—There has been a hike in HIV and AIDS diagnoses in Lubbock County, but not as much as the Texas Department of State Health Services announced.
According to the 2012 HIV Surveillance Report issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 26 new HIV diagnoses and 44 new AIDS diagnoses in Lubbock County, totaling 339 persons living with HIV/AIDS.
When we reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services, they told us these numbers are incorrect, but that there still is a notable increase in AIDS diagnoses in Lubbock County, just not as large as the report reflected.
The accurate numbers are 29 new HIV diagnoses and 18 new AIDS diagnoses in Lubbock County in 2013, which is still the highest number of cases reported since 2003.
Jennifer Brown and her colleagues at Texas Tech Department of Psychological Sciences have noticed this increase and have started several research studies to try and figure out why it is happening.
“There’s a group of us here really interested in looking at and researching why there might be higher rates in Lubbock,” Jennifer Brown said. “There are a variety of factors that contribute to HIV rates, including substance use, behaviors that increase risk, like unprotected sex, and so likely there are some combinations of factors that contribute to the higher rates.”
Brown said that she hopes the results of these studies will allow Tech to develop some prevention services as well as getting people tested who are at a higher risk of HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.