Report : Puerto Rico 3rd in U.S. AIDS Cases
18 octobre 1997 (AP)
PONCE, Puerto Rico, 18 October 1997 (AP)
PONCE, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico has a higher rate of AIDS than all but one state and the District of Colombia, a former U.S. surgeon general said Saturday.
The U.S. commonwealth has 59 cases of AIDS per 100,000 people, ranking it third behind the District and the state of New York, Antonia Coello de Novello said. Nearly 13,000 Puerto Ricans have died of AIDS.
Only five states have a total number of AIDS cases larger than Puerto Rico’s : New York, California, Florida, Texas and New Jersey.
"Puerto Rico, which is such a small island, is sixth in accumulated cases with 20,626, and this is alarming," Coello de Novello said.
A Puerto Rican, Coello de Novello was the first woman and first Hispanic to hold the post of the nation’s top public health advocate. She was named to the position by President George Bush.
She made her comments from Washington during a radio fund-raising show broadcast in Ponce, a city on Puerto Rico’s southern coast, to raise money for Hogar La Providencia, a shelter for AIDS patients.
In Puerto Rico, 52 percent of the AIDS cases are blamed on drug use, usually due to addicts sharing needles. Another 21 percent contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through heterosexual contact, and 17 percent through homosexual contact, Coello de Novello said. She did not specify the source of the other 10 percent.