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Is Oregon Protected from Indiana’s HIV Outbreak?

The piece below was distributed to media outlets as a response to Indiana’s announcement of a public health emergency in March, 2015

Eugene, OR—April 2, 2015: On Thursday, March, 26, sources reported that Indiana’s Scott County, population 24, 181, had hit an epidemic surge in HIV diagnoses: 80 new cases since December, or almost one case per day. Indiana Governor Mike Pence has said that 100 percent of these new cases could be traced to injection drug use. When comparing this information to Lane County’s three new HIV infections in all of 2014, and the fact that Lane’s population is almost 15 times that of Scott County, the question remains: why is the incidence of HIV skyrocketing in small, rural Scott County, Indiana and not in Lane County, Oregon—an area with high rates of injection drug use that sits directly on a major drug trafficking interstate?

You can read the response in its entirety here

New HIV Alliance Executive Director, Renee Yandel, Sits Down with Local Podcast

On September 5th, HIV Alliance’s new Executive Director, Renee Yandel, was invited as a guest to the local podcast, Nonprofit Eugene, for a conversation on the organization’s history, mission, and services to the community. The conversation features a wide range of topics, including advances in HIV medication and testing, current topics of debate, and a heartfelt reflection on HIV-related stigma then and now.

You can find an online stream of the conversation at Nonprofit Eugene’s website here.

Complacency Won’t Bring a Cure for HIV/AIDS

Written by Joelle Rankins Goodwin for the Register Guard on World AIDS Day (December 1, 2014)

I have a picture of my brother Scott and me. We are standing together posing for the camera, and he is hugging me with his arm around my head because that is how he always hugged me. Scott was a handsome, strong and wise man with a wonderful sense of humor. My brother would have been 55 years old this year, but in 2000 he died from AIDS.

When we were growing up, it was clear that he had a brilliant artistic mind. He loved fashion and, after high school, he moved to New York City to study at Parsons School for Design. While he was in New York, he received Fulbright and Lusk Foundation grants to study fashion design at the Domus Academy in Milan in the heart of the fashion industry. While there, he was “discovered” by the great designer Diego de la Valle….

read the rest of Joelle’s piece here: Complacency won’t bring a cure to HIV/AIDS


James “Bo” Reitz’s Map Quest

Written by Mark Baker in the Register Guard on World AIDS Day – December 1, 2014

“It defies all odds,” he says of his survival thus far. “I’m well aware of that. It does not escape my thoughts. And I’m grateful.”

“I think a lot of it is attitude and a relatively healthy lifestyle,” says [Reitz], whose face is clearly worn – what he calls “the look” that AIDS patients get – by the ravages of the disease.

“It gives me something to do, and it’s a way to keep the mind focused on something else,” he says. “It’s good. It’s like you’ve accomplished something.”

You can enjoy the article in its entirety be clicking here


Oregon Shakespeare Festival Awards HIV Alliance

In February, HIV Alliance received a letter from Cynthia Rider, Executive Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, awarding the agency $20,000 for its “vitally important work.” The Daedalus Project of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been empowering people living with HIV/AIDS for 28 years. The funding will provide critical support to HIV Alliance’s HIV and Hepatitis C prevention programs in southern Oregon.

To read this release in full, you can click here

National Hepatitis C Statistics


How common is acute Hepatitis C in the United States?

In 2009, there were an estimated 16,000 acute Hepatitis C virus infections reported in the United States.

How common is chronic Hepatitis C in the United States?

An estimated 3.2 million persons in the United States have chronic Hepatitis C virus infection. Most people do not know they are infected because they don’t look or feel sick.

How likely is it that acute Hepatitis C will become chronic?

Approximately 75%–85% of people who become infected with Hepatitis C virus develop chronic infection.

One in one hundred Americans has Hepatitis C: Reuters reported in March of 2014 that a CDC analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2003–2010 indicated that 1 percent of Americans (2.7 million) older than 6 had chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections that could damage their livers severely with time.

National HIV Statistics


  • More than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 6 (15.8%) are unaware of their infection.
  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSMa), particularly young black/African American MSM, are most seriously affected by HIV.
  • By race, blacks/African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV.
  • CDC estimates that approximately 50,000 people in the United States are newly infected with HIV each year. In 2010 (the most recent year that data are available), there were an estimated 47,500 new HIV infections.a Nearly two thirds of these new infections occurred in gay and bisexual men. Black/African American men and women were also highly affected and were estimated to have an HIV incidence rate that was almost 8 times as high as the incidence rate among whites.

Oregon Statistics

The Epidemiologic Profile of HIV/AIDS in Oregon states that “HIV remains an important public health problem in Oregon. From 1981 through 2012, 9,307 Oregonians were diagnosed and reported with HIV infection; approximately 40% have since died.
Since 1997, approximately 274 new diagnoses were reported each year in Oregon.  The number of Oregon cases living with HIV has continued to increase each year, nearly doubling from 2,753 in 1997 to 5,581 in 2012.”

For more statistics on HIV/AIDS in the state of Oregon please go to:  Oregon Health Authority: State and Local statistics

Lane County HIV Statistics


According to recent data, Lane County has the 4th highest prevalence rate in the state and the 5 highest number of new HIV/AIDS diagnosis. As of 2006 there are 296 reported Living HIV/AIDS cases in Lane County (86.3/100,000). In addition there were 14 new HIV/AIDS diagnosis (with average of approximately 17 each year).

HIV Incidence in Lane County mirrors much of our prevalence data. Most new diagnoses are among men, particularly men who have sex with other men. In 2006, 64 percent of new diagnoses were men who reported having sex with other men. For women, the most common report risk was heterosexual sex. Oregon’s incidence data reflects similar trends, with 72% of new diagnoses being men who reported having sex with other men. And the most common reported risk for women was heterosexual sex.

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