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New HIV cases on the rise in Florida

The medical community in Florida is trying to figure out how to deal with an alarming number of people being infected with HIV
HIV cases on the rise in Florida 02:19

MIAMI -- Health officials in Florida are seeing a resurgence in HIV cases, especially among adolescents and young adults. After three decades of medical advances against the potentially-deadly virus, it's on the rise again. The Sunshine State now ranks number one with new cases.

Jahn Cabeza, 26, discovered he was HIV positive two years ago. He remembers stopping at a mobile testing lab and having his world turned upside down.

"I thought, 'This is the end for me,'" Cabeza told CBS News. "I used to cry in the bathroom and wake up with my eyes swollen because I was crying all night."

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Cabeza's diagnosis, is part of an alarming trend. Nearly 5,400 Floridians were diagnosed with HIV in 2013, according to the Florida Department of Health. That's more than any state in the nation.

Dr. Michael Wohlfeiler is the Chief of Medicine for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. He says 13- to 24-year-old males make up the fastest-growing group of new infections.

"They were not alive when we went through what I call the Holocaust Era of AIDS, where everybody was dying from this disease," Wohlfeiler said.

"A young person comes in for his or her first visit with me -- The attitude at the beginning of the visit is very nonchalant, like this is not a big deal," Wohlfeiler continued. "By the end of the visit, often the attitude has changed."

Increasing infection rates are also being seen in those age 50 and older, according to Wohlfeiler.

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"Part of the reason we are seeing new infections in older group of men who have sex with men is what I would actually term a kind of 'gay mid-life crisis,' where they were HIV negative for years and years, getting tested regularly and then they went through a period as they were facing middle age of becoming more sexually active," Wohlfeiler said.

Health officials also say up to 60 percent of teens and young adults who are infected don't know they are HIV positive -- and are unknowingly spreading the disease.

The AIDS Foundation is now trying to create a more aggressive media campaign to remind people that the benefits of safe sex far outweigh the risks of the disease.

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