Health officials marked World AIDS Day this week with the announcment that 27 new cases of HIV infections were reported in the county in the past year. Of those, 7 percent also had AIDS. Currently, 545 residents live with HIV/AIDS in Santa Barbara County. Of the newly infected, 89 percent were male, 59 percent were Hispanic, and 59 percent reported having had sex with men. Slightly more than half lived in South County. While HIV/AIDS is treatable, it was once a deadly scourge. Between 1980 and 2017, 434 people died from AIDS in the county. During that same period, county health officials reported 1,214 individuals were infected.


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