For the first time in seven years, the number of AIDS victims in Los Angeles County decreased slightly in 1987, health officials said Wednesday.
The number of AIDS victims nationwide, however, continues to climb.
"We can't be eased by saying the number of cases of AIDS declined," said Andrew Weisser, a spokesman for AIDS Project Los Angeles. "We're so early in the epidemic that we're going to be seeing waves in the number of cases. There really isn't any defined reason why this is happening."
There were 1,256 cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome recorded by county health officials in 1987, contrasted with 1,318 cases recorded in 1986, the highest number ever, according to Vivian Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for the county Health Department.
Ninety percent of the county's AIDS victims have been homosexual or bisexual men, 3% have been intravenous drug users and 2% contracted AIDS through blood transfusions, authorities said.
One percent contracted the disease through heterosexual contact and another 1% of the victims were hemophiliacs. Health officials have been unable to determine how the remaining 3% of the victims contracted the disease.