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Puerto Rico Has High HIV Infection Rate: Study

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In 2006, the rate of new HIV infections in Puerto Rico was 45 per 100,000 people, two times higher than in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to a study published Thursday.

Injection drug use was the primary cause of transmission among the 1,440 people in Puerto Rico newly infected with HIV in 2006. The infection rate was 2.1 times higher among males than females. People ages 30-39 had the highest rates of infection, said researchers from the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the 50 states and Washington, D.C., most new HIV infections occur among gay and bisexual men and among younger adults. The differences noted in Puerto Rico highlight the need to tailor HIV-prevention efforts to meet local needs, the researchers said.

The study appears in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the CDC.

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