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Texas Health Department Reviewing High School AIDS Cases

February 19, 1992

TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) _ An AIDS counselor’s finding that a Northeast Texas high school has an extraordinarily high rate of HIV infection is being double-checked by the state Health Department.

The counselor, Dona Spence, works for the Ark-Tex Council of Governments, based in Texarkana, which is under contract with the state Health Department to provide AIDS education and counseling to the region, about 100 miles northeast of Dallas.

She said last week that six of the 197 students at Rivercrest High School were infected with the HIV virus. That’s more than seven times the national average of one in 250 for all ages. Students from Bogata and Talco attend the school.

Ark-Tex spokeswoman Nita Fran Hutcheson said Tuesday that the Health Department would have reviewed the findings anyhow, but the agency asked Monday that it be done quickly to dispel any doubt about their accuracy.

Health Department spokesman Doug McBride said he didn’t know when the study would be completed.

Ms. Spence said Monday that she already had contacted the department to research her files.

″I wanted them to look through my files so they could see that what we had was legitimate,″ she said.