Coastal Georgia High in Cases of HIV/AIDS

The state's coastal region is home to more people with HIV/AIDS than any Georgia area outside Atlanta, according to several state data sources.

Figures from the Coastal Health District (CHD) show that in 2010, the region had 2,167 people living with HIV/AIDS. That year, 88 new HIV cases and 55 new AIDS cases were diagnosed. In Glynn County, the equivalent of approximately 400 of every 100,000 residents were living with HIV in 2009, the AIDS Vu database from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University shows.

"The alarming part, to me, is the ages of the people coming in as new cases," said Susan Alt, HIV director for CHD. More than 38 percent of new cases in the region were among people ages 20-29, of whom many are men who have sex with men, said Alt.

Alt said people who are diagnosed with the virus can access treatment through health department services like the Glynn CARE Center. HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment are imperative to stopping the epidemic, she said.

While CHD has not reached its capacity for serving HIV/AIDS clients, recent state budget cuts eliminated 22 Georgia HIV prevention positions, and local health departments are being stretched thin, Alt said.