To the Editor: The impact of the human immunodeficiency
virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic on morbidity
and mortality in Florida and the United States has been profound. In the United
States, AIDS deaths peaked in 1995 and then began to decline with the rate
of decrease slowing in 1998.1 The decline
in mortality has been attributed to the use of highly active antiretroviral
therapy (HAART)2- 4
and prophylaxis against opportunistic infections.5
Through 1998, the trend of deaths due to HIV/AIDS in Florida paralleled the
national trend of AIDS deaths (Table 1).
In 1999, however, when a new coding scheme was introduced, Florida reported
1651 resident HIV/AIDS deaths, an increase of 6.7% compared with 1998.
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