The new report shows the number of people living with HIV and AIDS in California has steadily increased. But the HIV hospitalization rate from 1988 to 2008 dropped-as did hospital deaths. Dr. Karen Mark with the state Office of AIDS says the study highlights the role of life-saving drug treatments that became available in the mid-1990's. She says it also emphasizes the importance of being tested.
Mark: "You know the recommendation is that everyone get tested for HIV, when they go for their regular medical check-up just like you get cholesterol checked, you get your HIV checked as well. This is in part because one in five people infected with HIV don't know that they're HIV infected…"
Dr. Mark says there are still disparities among races. The report noted HIV-related hospitalizations remain highest for African Americans.