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While the number of new HIV cases in Wisconsin has stayed fairly stable over the last 10 years, the percentage of new infections that are women has continued to grow.
According to the Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin, 391 people in Wisconsin contracted the virus last year, not far off the average of 400 new cases a year over the last decade. However, in the 1980s, the percentage of those new infections which were women was 6 percent. That rose to 16 percent in the 90s. Last year, 21 percent of the new infections were women.
"Women may not understand the risks that they're at," said Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin Chief Operating Officer Mike Gifford to BusinessNorth.com, adding that there is no statewide requirement for HIV prevention education in schools and women need better information on their risks.
Associate Director of Prevention Christina Colon told the Associated Press they are targeting women's health fairs to get the word out, focusing on condom negotiation and prevention.
The CDC recommends that people at high risk of HIV infection get screened annually at a minimum, and anyone with any reason to suspect they are infected to have an STD test as soon as possible.
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