A year ago, statistics showed St. Lucie County had the highest HIV rate in Florida for African-American women and the sixth-highest for white women. But as HIV prevention outreach staff from In the Image of Christ work on the streets at night, offering condoms and free oral swab HIV antibody tests to residents, they hear a lot of denial. These workers say denial, ignorance, and refusal to talk about HIV keeps infection rates high in the county despite prevention efforts. . . .
Data show that heterosexual women of all races are at risk on Florida’s so-called Treasure Coast, including an increasing number whose partners are men who surreptitiously have sex with men, Jones said. . . .