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      Eastern Carolinas rank in highest category after three decades of HIV/AIDS virus

      Thirty years ago this week, the federal government diagnosed five men with Pneumocystis Pneumonia. Doctors later discovered the pneumonia was brought on by a virus that was attacking their immune system, the virus commonly known today as HIV/AIDS.

      Though breakthroughs in medicine have suppressed the effects, and one German man even claims to be cured with stem cell research, the HIV/AIDS virus lives on.

      More than one million people in the U.S. are currently living with HIV/AIDS. South Carolina ranks 10th in the nation for AIDS cases.

      A study by the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University ranks Horry, Georgetown, Marlboro, Florence, Darlington, Marion and Dillon counties with more than 249 cases of HIV out of 100,000 each, the highest ranking in the study. The group created a map that accumulates HIV/AIDS statistics for each county in the U.S.

      The most cases occur in African Americans. In South Carolina, African Americans are eight times more likely to contract HIV than caucasians.

      South Carolina HIV Testing Reports show the age group 20-29 has the highest percentage of newly diagnosed HIV positive people in South Carolina.

      With three decades of HIV/AIDS, what are some experiences or stories you can share about the disease? Leave a comment below.