DES MOINES, Iowa — The number of HIV cases diagnosed in Iowa in 2015 increased dramatically from the previous year.
The Iowa Department of Public Health says the new figures from its annual HIV Surveillance Report show a 27-percent increase in diagnosed cases from 2014. In Iowa, 124 new HIV cases were diagnosed versus the 98 cases reported in 2014.
The IDPH says the reason for the increase isn’t clear but says it’s possible fewer tests were performed in 2014 because it was the first full year of the Affordable Care Act and health care providers may have been dealing with an influx of new patients.
IDPH HIV/AIDS Surveillance coordinator Jerry Harms says, “This increase marks a return to the levels we saw in 2013, and is a reversal from the drop in cases from 2013 to 2014.”
Deaths of HIV-infected Iowans have decreased from a high of 103 in 1995. In 2015, preliminary data shows 20 Iowans died from HIV or AIDS.