The state of Alabama continues to experience an HIV/AIDS epidemic of moderate magnitude when contrasted with the experience of other states. It is a state that is considered primarily rural with 55 out of 67 counties located outside of the state’s major and minor urban populations. Alabama HIV programs maintain systems to identify persons meeting the CDC case definition of HIV infection, AIDS progression, perinatal exposure from mother to child, and other STIs by collecting, managing, conducting quality control, and engaging prevention efforts. Data trends reveal HIV still infects/affects persons in all gender, age, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic groups in every county in Alabama. At the end of 2015, 12,874 were known to be living with the virus. Projections using statistical estimates add an additional 2,234 Alabama residents infected and unaware of their positive HIV status. Moreover, preliminary 2016 data suggests that those known to be living with HIV has increased by 4.2 percent. Males account for approximately three quarters of newly diagnosed cases in 2015 and from preliminary 2016 data. Data from 2015 shows that African Americans (AA) are approximately six times more likely to be living with HIV/AIDS than their white counterparts. Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) are among the highest incidence groups in Alabama and that statistic continues to increase. In Alabama, adolescents and young adults aged 15-29 years are twice as likely to be infected with HIV as the average Alabama resident. Among adolescent and young adult African American males aged 15-29 years, sex with another male is the predominant risk factor reported among newly diagnosed HIV infections. Recent trends over the previous decade show an alarming increase in the number of HIV infections among African American males aged 15-29 years reporting sex with another male. Another targeted group area of prevention focus is pregnant women and HIV/STI. The Division of HIV Prev
ention and Care (DHPC) collaborates with Alabama's medical providers to reduce the incidence of perinatal HIV infection. Access to routine comprehensive prenatal care for all HIV-positive pregnant women and their babies will help ensure this vision can be achieved. Although the numbers are extremely low in the state, there has been a significant increase in pregnant women with syphilis.