Overview of HIV/AIDS in the Arizona-Mexico Border Region
Date of Report: 02/2008
In Arizona, which had a population of 6,166,318, 257 new AIDS cases and 542 new cases of HIV were reported in 2006. Men accounted for nearly 85.8% of HIV/AIDS cases, and women accounted for only 14.2%. Of the total newly reported AIDS cases 2002-2006, 41.6% were in men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDUs) made up 13% of the cases, MSM/IDU were 4.4%, heterosexual contact was associated with 7.7%, blood product recipients and hemophiliacs made up only 0.8%, though the transmission in the remaining 4% of cases was unknown. The proportion of HIV cases diagnosed in MSM increased during this period relative to previous reports.
The five-year HIV/AIDS case rate declined throughout the 1990's, leveling off from the 1998-2002 time period to the present. Between 2002 and 2006, reported pediatric AIDS cases decreased in Arizona, with only 3 cases reported in 2006. Meanwhile, the proportion of HIV or AIDS cases that are reported in urban settings increased during this period, so that 86% of reported HIV/AIDS prevalent and emergent infections occur in urban counties that contain 76% of the state population. Between 2002-2006, 49.6% of total AIDS cases, statewide, were diagnosed in Caucasians, 12.2% in African Americans, 31.8% in Latinos/Hispanics, 1.2% Asian/Pacific Islanders, 4.5% Native American, with the remaining 0.7% of unknown ethnicity. While historically HIV/AIDS has been most prevalent among African American men in Arizona, the rate of new HIV infections is rising among African American women. The current rate of emergent HIV among African American women is 50% higher than the mean rate among men. (HIV/AIDS Semi-Annual Report, State of Arizona, August 2008.)
Arizona has 4 border counties that lie directly on the U.S.- Mexico border.These border counties, together, represent approximately 1,292 AIDS cases, or 21% of the total for the state, with 80 AIDS cases and 73 HIV cases reported in Yuma County; 68 AIDS cases and 90 HIV cases in Cochise County; 20 AIDS cases and 16 HIV cases in Santa Cruz County; and 1,130 of AIDS cases and 1,068 HIV cases in Pima County. The availability of services and HIV/AIDS training opportunities are somewhat limited in all four counties. Mental health and substance abuse services are primarily provided by Southeastern Arizona Behavioral Health Services, Inc.; HIV/AIDS services are provided through private practitioners or community clinics; and training is provided primarily by the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center (PAETC) located in Tucson. Resources by county are described, below, as are resources available in Tucson which, while a few miles outside of the border-defined area, also has HIV/AIDS resources that those living in the border area may chose to access.
Cochise County is the largest and most diverse border county. It represents 6,169 square miles with a population of 127,757 persons as of 2006. The average median household income in Cochise County was $36,585 in 2004. In Cochise County in 2002-2006 152 people were living with HIV or AIDS. Douglas and Sierra Vista are the largest communities in the county. Douglas is directly on the U.S./Mexico border, and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico is its "sister city". Sierra Vista is largely a military town with Fort Huachuca bringing a diversity of military personnel. Bisbee, AZ has a large arts community and, for relatively rural Arizona, a large gay male population. HIV/AIDS care is mostly provided by private practice physicians who co-manage patients with HIV specialists in Tucson and Phoenix. Care is paid for by the Ryan White Emergency Care Act money, managed through the Cochise County Care Consortium and allocated to the Cochise County Health Department.
Pima County is located in southern Arizona and covers an area of approximately 9,200 square miles. The 2006 Census population count for Pima County was 946,362.
Tucson, located in Pima County, is the second largest city in Arizona and 30th largest city in the nation. The 2003 Census population estimate for Tucson totaled 507,658 people. Between April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003, Tucson grew 4.2%. The median household income or inhabitants of Pima was $38,687 in 2004. According to the 2006 Census, Hispanics constituted 32.5% of Pima County's total population (compared to 29.2% for the State), Native Americans 3.4%, African Americans 3.4%, Asians 2.5% and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders 0.2%. Of residents older than 5, 27.5% spoke a language other than English at home. The 2006 population in Pima County was 51.1% female and 48.9% male.
In 2004, the University of Arizona was been awarded $360,000 from the federal Ryan White CARE Act to expand its patient care services for HIV/AIDS patients in Pima County. Ryan White Early Intervention Services Clinics now are held at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and at
Santa Cruz County is in the middle of the State. It is small geographically, particularly compared to Cochise and Yuma Counties. It spans 1,238 square miles and, as of 2006, has a population of 43,080. In 2004, the average median household income was $32,901. Santa Cruz County reported 20 AIDS cases and 16 HIV cases in 2006. The town of Nogales, in Santa Cruz County, AZ borders Nogales, Sonora, Mexico; Rio Rico is situated just North of Nogales. Most HIV care in Santa Cruz County is provided through the local Community Health Center, Mariposa Clinic. Patients see an Internal Medicine Physician and are co-managed with HIV specialists from Tucson (approximately 1 hour from Nogales).
Yuma County is in the southwest corner of the State and also borders California. It represents 5,514 square miles and, as of 2006, had a population of approximately 187,555. Yuma has both a Corrections facility and a Military base. In 2004, the average median household income was $34,230. Yuma County has 80 AIDS cases and 73 HIV cases. Most HIV care is provided through the local Community Health Center (CHC), Sunset Community Health Center, with patients co-managed by HIV specialists in Tucson and San Diego. Ching Wang, MD primarily manages this center.
The Arizona Depatment of Health Services contracts with Cochise and Yuma county health departments to provide Title II services. El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson is an ADAP subcontractor, a TItle III clinic, and receives Minority AIDS Initiative funding for its Arizona Border HIV/AIDS Care Project (ABHAC). The ABHAC was funded through a 5 year SPNS grant which ends in 2005. University Medical Center in Tucson also received Title III funds. The Arizona AIDS Education and Training Program is located at University of Arizona in Tucson.
Overview prepared by the University of California Los Angeles local performance site of the Pacific AETC. Statistics updated in 2008.
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