December 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm EST | by Staff reports
Migration impacts HIV figures in California
Riverside County, gay news, Washington Blade

Riverside County, Calif. (Photo by vlasta2; courtesy Flickr)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The number of HIV and AIDS patients residing in Riverside County last year was 51 percent higher than previously estimated, due to a data revision that more accurately reflects migration of patients from one location to another, county health officials told the Anza Valley Outlook.

According to the Department of Public Health, the total number of “people living with HIV/AIDS” countywide in 2016 was 8,404 people, rather than the 5,552 people first estimated, the Outlook reports.

The recalculation stemmed from a change in counting methodology called “migration prevalence.”

“We’ve always suspected the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was higher than previously reported,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer, was quoted as having said in the Outlook. “This data gives us a more accurate picture of what’s happening in Riverside County and the challenges facing patients, medical providers and the systems that serve them.”

According to health officials, prior HIV and AIDS surveillance was based on “standard prevalence,” which associated patients with a specific geographic location based on where they were living at the time of diagnosis. The new methodology, migration prevalence, counts patients according to where they are currently residing, defined by a specific local health jurisdiction, the Outlook reports.

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