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New York Rate of
HIV Infection Soars Above National Average

New York Rate of
HIV Infection Soars Above National Average

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For the first time, the New York City health department has issued a study that is able to determine the number of new infections of HIV in a year. The study, which reports on 2006, is the most precise estimate ever of citywide HIV infections, according to the health department.

For the first time, the New York City health department has issued a study that is able to determine the number of new infections of HIV in a year. The study, which reports on 2006, is the most precise estimate ever of citywide HIV infections, according to the health department.

In previous years, findings have been able to track the number of new diagnoses in a test year, but results haven't been able to distinguish new infections from those that occurred in earlier years.

The latest study further confirms previous findings that have placed the average of new HIV infections in New York far higher than the national average.

Director of HIV epidemiology Beth Begier says the study's latest findings will help New Yorkers have a more accurate understanding of what they're faced with."Having a number is helpful," Begier explains. "It's another way to let people know that New Yorkers are at higher risk and to urge them to take the necessary precautions."

The 2006 study finds that 72 of every 100,000 New Yorkers were newly infected that year, compared to 23 of every 100,000 people nationally. Begier says the average is higher in a city like New York in part because of the city's diverse population as well as its being one of the first places the HIV epidemic showed up.

"It's really two issues. One, we have more of our population at risk compared with other parts of the country," Begier adds. "We have more men who have sex with men. Additionally, we've had the epidemic longer than some parts of the country. Some of New York's groups have become highly affected, so it's continued to spread."

The latest findings will assist the health department in its continued outreach efforts throughout New York City, including condom distribution, a grassroots online campaign aimed at gay men, and its most recent undertaking, an effort to get every all Bronx residents to learn their HIV status.

For more information on the latest New York statistics, visit www.CDC.gov. (The Advocate)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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