The shape of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Puerto Rico

Maria A. Gomez, Diana M. Fernandez, Jose F. Otero, Sandra Miranda, Robert Hunter
2000 Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública  
This study presents information on AIDS patients in Puerto Rico, including their general sociodemographic profile, some risk-related parameters, characteristics of vulnerable groups, and elements of the clinical spectrum of the disease. Data were analyzed from the Puerto Rico AIDS Surveillance Program and available studies about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Puerto Rico. A total of 23 089 AIDS cases was reported to the Puerto Rico AIDS Surveillance Program from January 1981 through February 1999.
more » ... h February 1999. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has affected mostly males and females between the ages of 30 and 49, though cases have also been reported for other age groups. The cumulative proportion of persons with AIDS who are women has increased tremendously, from 11.4% for the 1981-1986 period to 21.6% for the entire 1981-1999 period. In Puerto Rico the category of injecting drug users (IDUs) accounts for the majority of the AIDS cases (52%), followed by heterosexual contact (22%), and men who have sex with men (17%). The three main diagnoses for AIDS on the island are wasting syndrome (30.7%); esophageal, bronchial, and lung candidiasis (29.4%); and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (26.8%). According to 1994 vital statistics for Puerto Rico, AIDS was the fourth-leading cause of death. The overall reported AIDS mortality rate was 42.0 per 100 000 persons, with the rate for males, 67.8, much higher than it was for females, 17.4. AIDS is the first cause of death among persons between 30 and 39 years old. Intense efforts are needed to better understand the epidemic in Puerto Rico and its biology, social and family impacts, and financial costs. ABSTRACT In 1992 the noted researcher Jonathan Mann and colleagues of his said that the global HIV/AIDS epidemic was still volatile, dynamic, and unstable; that its major impacts were yet to come; and that its shape and future depended on individual and collective Rev Panam Salud Publica/Pan Am J Public Health 7(6), 2000 377 Source: Puerto Rico AIDS Surveillance Program. a This table does not include 410 pediatric cases, for whom exposure categories were different.
doi:10.1590/s1020-49892000000600004 pmid:10949898 fatcat:km32lm6ucrfl5oh6tmzxsugxse