• Syphilis in Georgia, 2009-2014

      Moore, Kathryn; Parker, Leonardo; Wells, Joy; Georgia Department of Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: In the period of 2002-2014, Georgia has ranked among the top three states in the United States for rates of primary and secondary syphilis cases, creating a continuing need to analyze the data and to plan and implement disease prevention efforts. Methods: The present effort involved analysis of data from Georgia’s electronic disease reporting system, State Electronic Disease Surveillance System (SendSS), including demographic characteristics by year for the period of 2009-2014 and behavioral data obtained from interviews with communicable disease specialists. Results: In Georgia, from 2009-2014, primary and secondary syphilis, the infectious stages of the disease, were seen most commonly among black, non-Hispanic (77%) males (91%) between the ages of 20-29 (45%); 52% were males who have sex with other males. Conclusions: Analysis of the data provides a better understanding of the populations affected by syphilis. It can enhance discussions about disease surveillance, prevention, and strategies to decrease the burden of this disease.
    • Trends in HIV testing among adults in Georgia: Analysis of the 2011-2015 BRFSS data

      Ansa, Benjamin; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Georgia is ranked fifth highest among states for rates of HIV diagnosis. About 4% of persons living with HIV infection in the United States reside in Georgia, and almost 19% of these people do not know their HIV status. The present study examined the trends and associated factors of HIV testing among adults in Georgia between 2011 and 2015. Methods: The 2011-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data were analyzed. Results: A total of 31,094 persons aged ≥18 years were identified who responded to the question “Have you ever been tested for HIV?” Overall, there were 11,286 (44.2%) respondents who had been tested for HIV, with a slight decrease in percentage from 45.6% in 2011 to 43.7% in 2015 (APC= -0.98, not significant). Factors associated with HIV testing were being female (p=0.004), black (p<0.001), younger than 55 years (p<0.001), single (p<0.001), attaining education level above high school (p<0.001), and earning annual income of $50,000 or less (p=0.028). Conclusions: Overall in Georgia, there has been a slight decline in the temporal trend of HIV testing, and more than half of adults have never been tested for HIV.