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HIV-AIDS Continues to Spread in Region Among White Gay Men

Kevin Killeen
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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27:  A health educator massages a drop of blood from a man's finger while conducting an HIV test at the Whitman-Walker Health Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center September 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Whitman-Walker Health is observing the annual National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day with free testing at four different locations in the District of Columbia, where the overall HIV rate is 2.7 percent. Anything over one percent is considered a severe epidemic.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 27: A health educator massages a drop of blood from a man’s finger while conducting an HIV test at the Whitman-Walker Health Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center September 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Whitman-Walker Health is observing the annual National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day with free testing at four different locations in the District of Columbia, where the overall HIV rate is 2.7 percent. Anything over one percent is considered a severe epidemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

kevin-killeen Kevin Killeen
Kevin Killeen joined the KMOX News Team in July 1995 as morning...
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Gay white men taking chances is what St. Louis Health Department director Pamela Walker says is largely to blame for the some 250 new HIV-AIDS cases each year in the region.

“HIV-AIDS is still primarily a disease of men who have sex with men,” Walker says. “It’s still primarily white, but there is a disparity of course in the city, with more African Americans.”

Walker says the disease is spreading because people wrongly think AIDS has been cured, or it’s no big deal anymore. And they’re having unprotected sex.

“They think it’s curable. They think it’s over,” she says.

Overall, more than 5,600 people have the disease in a seven-county region of Eastern Missouri. Walker says women account for about 15 percent of all new cases.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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