Majority Of NYC Adults At Increased Risk Of HIV Transmission

Armen Hareyan's picture

About 18% of New York City adults areat risk of contracting HIV because of drug use or multiple sex partners, accordingto a recent survey conducted by the New York City Department of Health andMental Hygiene, the AP/New York Times reports. However, the survey foundthat about 92% of the city's at-risk population believe they are not at risk (AP/NewYork Times, 1/11).

The survey -- based on the city's 2004 Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,which used blood tests and computer-based interviews to determine behavior andHIV incidence -- found the city's HIV risk is because of people having multiplesex partners and using injection drugs. The survey found that among the groupwith multiple sex partners, 60% did not use condoms all the time. The findingsalso suggested that about 1.4% of New York City adults are HIV-positive -- nearly four timesthe national rate. In addition, the survey found that about 14% of men who havesex with men in the city are HIV-positive -- about 38 times the citywideaverage. The survey also found that about 3.3% and 1.3% of black and Hispanics,respectively, are living with HIV, compared with 0.6% of whites.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said, "Far too many people are indanger of contracting HIV through risky behavior." He added,"Reducing the number of sex partners you have and protecting yourself andyour partners by consistently using condoms will help you stay safe. We shouldall know our HIV status ... and health care providers should offer this test totheir patients" (DHMH release, 1/10).

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