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October 17, 2001

Coding Changes and Apparent HIV/AIDS Mortality Trends in Florida, 1999

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(15):1839. doi:10.1001/jama.286.15.1833

To the Editor: The impact of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic on morbidity and mortality in Florida and the United States has been profound. In the United States, AIDS deaths peaked in 1995 and then began to decline with the rate of decrease slowing in 1998.1 The decline in mortality has been attributed to the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)2-4 and prophylaxis against opportunistic infections.5 Through 1998, the trend of deaths due to HIV/AIDS in Florida paralleled the national trend of AIDS deaths (Table 1). In 1999, however, when a new coding scheme was introduced, Florida reported 1651 resident HIV/AIDS deaths, an increase of 6.7% compared with 1998.