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U.S. News

New York: How HIV Shapes Everyday Life

June 13, 2011

In the three decades since the first reported AIDS cases, the disease has brought about many changes in communities in New York and across the nation.

Condom use had declined since the 1960s introduction of the birth control pill. Then in 1987, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop deemed condoms the best prevention against AIDS for people who "will not practice abstinence or monogamy." That same year, condom sales spiked 33 percent.


"The onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s changed perceptions on condoms and use rates climbed by double digit percentages for the first time in history," said Bruce Weiss, a marketing vice president for Trojan Brand condoms.

Bernard Alex, director of the Syracuse-based FACES, an HIV/AIDS outreach program, said the epidemic forced parents to engage their children in conversations about sex much earlier than previous generations did.

The epidemic also bred patient empowerment -- and not just among those with HIV/AIDS. "That patient advocacy spread," said Rick Bartell of Planned Parenthood. "Now all kinds of patients are taking charge of their medical lives."

Among other areas where the impact of AIDS is seen:

  • Dental workers began using protective gear.
  • Devices and protocols were introduced to minimize the danger of needlesticks for health care workers.
  • HIV testing of all blood donations began in 1985, and blood banks instituted stricter donor selection procedures.
  • HIV testing of newborns in New York became mandatory in 1997 so those infected could receive specialized care.
  • Health care providers in New York are now required to offer every patient between 13 and 64 a voluntary HIV test.
  • In 1991, athletic associations and schools adopted protocols for handling open wounds and spilled blood. CDC reports there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission linked to participation in sports.

Back to other news for June 2011

Adapted from:
Post-Standard (Syracuse)
06.05.2011; James T. Mulder

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
20 Years of Magic: How One Man's HIV Disclosure Inspired Others
More on the 30th Anniversary of AIDS

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