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Baton Rouge sees big drop in AIDS diagnosis rates

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Nov 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-29 11:31:17-05

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Baton Rouge no longer leads the nation for its rate of new AIDS diagnoses, and officials are crediting the increased use of HIV testing at hospitals.

The Advocate reports that in 2016 Baton Rouge held the top spot for the rate of new AIDS diagnoses, but now ranks number 10. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

City officials touted the change in a news conference Monday.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome says the "first step to stopping the HIV epidemic in Baton Rouge is awareness."

Broome pushed to increase testing in emergency rooms. She says people who know their status are more likely to seek treatment.

The city has seen an uptick in the number of new HIV diagnoses, likely a result of the increased testing.