November 22, 2013
This article was reported by Caribbean News.
The Caribbean News reported that new HIV statistics show that New York City (NYC), the epicenter of the HIV epidemic, has seen a 38 percent decrease in HIV incidence from 2001-2011, while New York State saw a 37 percent decrease in the same time period. The statistics were released in a new report by New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Diane Hepps, a NYC DOHMH spokesperson, said: "It is likely that the reasons for this decline are multifaceted and include a broad scale-up of routine HIV screening in NYC and prompt linkage to care, support for staying in are and adhering to HIV treatment, as well as widespread availability of sterile syringes and free condoms, among other factors."
Between 2002 and 2010, new HIV cases throughout the state were down 78 percent among intravenous drug users, 42 percent among blacks, 35 percent among Hispanics, and 26 percent among whites. In NYC, the report shows the most impacted populations include individuals aged 40-50 years old; men, with 70 percent of the cases, blacks; and men who have sex with men.
"There is still a lot of work to be done [to decrease HIV incidence] -- especially in marginalized populations such as young gay men of color and transgender communities, "said Michael Camacho, the New York regional director for AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). "These statistics prove that the work of organizations like AHF, government agencies, and community groups is making an impact here in New York City, and throughout the state," he added.