One Fifth Of NYC Adults Are Putting Themselves At HIV Risk

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Nearly one fifth (18%) of New York City adults are putting themselves at risk of HIV by having sex with multiple partners or using needles to inject drugs, the Health Department reported today, yet the vast majority (92%) do not think they are at risk. The survey also found that of people with multiple sex partners, most (60%) put themselves at risk by not always using condoms. Compared to national data, sexual risk-taking appears to be more common among New York City adults, but injection drug use appears to be roughly the same.

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These new findings come from the city's Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a 2004 study which used blood tests and computer-based interviews to study behavior and HIV infection in New York City. Full text of the study, published this month online in the journal AIDS, is available to reporters on request.

The findings highlight common misperceptions about HIV risk and underscore the importance of education and routine HIV testing. "Far too many people are in danger of contracting HIV through risky behavior," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Health Commissioner for New York City. "Reducing the number of sex partners you have and protecting yourself and your partners by consistently using condoms will help you stay safe. We should all know our HIV status, regardless of whether we think we're at risk

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