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U.S. News

New York Proposes Measures to Slow the Spread of AIDS

May 24, 2005

If funded and implemented, proposals made in a draft report released Monday by the New York City Commission on HIV/AIDS would make the city "a national and global model of how to stop the epidemic," according to Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden.

The commission -- a 21-member body comprising doctors, researchers, and AIDS advocates appointed by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene -- also endorsed new state regulations that go into effect on a temporary basis next week. The regulations streamline HIV testing consent forms and allow health officials to collect detailed information about a patient's viral load and resistance to AIDS drugs.

More than 4,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with HIV each year, and a quarter of them learn they are infected only when they are diagnosed with fully developed AIDS, said panel members. The commission's recommendations include:


  • Improving testing access, particularly among minorities, the homeless and intravenous drug users (IDUs), by endorsing the above-mentioned state regulations.

  • Increasing condom distribution in prisons, schools, and nightclubs.

  • Expanding needle-exchange programs for IDUs.

  • Making HIV screening a routine part of every emergency-room visit.

  • Creating public awareness campaigns to address crystal methamphetamine abuse among gay men, HIV stigma among African Americans, and how people with HIV can help stop its spread.

  • Increasing treatment and housing access for people with HIV/AIDS.

Tracy L. Welsh, executive director of the HIV Law Project, worried that the state's new patient information guidelines would strip away long-held privacy protections for those with HIV. But many panel members said they felt the regulations' benefits were greater than the costs.

The draft proposal will be adopted June 13 after a public comment period. For more information, visit or, locally, telephone New York City's call center at 311.

Back to other news for May 24, 2005

Adapted from:
New York Times
05.24.05; Andrew Jacobs

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.
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