According to figures released by the Illinois Department of Public Health AIDS prevelance fell slightly. But experts were worried because blacks are still disproportionately affected by AIDS. They also feel that the low numbers could be due to the fact that not enough people are being tested thoroughly. David Ernesto Munar, associate director of the non-profit AIDS Foundation of Chicago said that he would welcome more figures in AIDS as it would mean more people are being tested and treated.
Statistics show that there were 1,366 new cases of AIDS in 2005 from 1,410 in 2004. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated about 10,000 people with AIDS in Illinois have not been diagnosed. Hence the state has launched Brothers and Sisters United against HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the project is to create increase testing and awareness among black communities.
A rap concert was inaugurated were in people lined up to get tested. Rick Bejlovec, executive director of Test Positive Aware Network said that in such cases a high number is to be welcomed. Though African-Americans population accounts to about 15 % the number of AIDS and HIV cases is more than 50 % in Illinois. To reverse this trend a lot of work is to be done. Eric Whitaker, director of the state Health Department, is more concerned about the younger generation as they are acquiring the disease at an early age. Statistics show that 77% of people infected with AIDS are in the age group of 18 and 44.