1 in 6 New Yorkers Engages in Risky HIV Behavior: Survey
March 15, 2007
On March 2, New York City's HIV Bureau reported that in a 2004 cross-sectional survey of adult residents, of the 18 percent reporting unsafe sex or drug-use behavior, 92 percent still believed they had no HIV risk. Expanding from those results, one in six city residents, about 1 million New Yorkers, would indeed be at risk for HIV, whether they believed it or not.
The survey found that 12-29 percent of city residents with HIV did not realize they were infected, said Dr. Trang Nguyen, lead author of the report based on the 2004 NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Nationally, an estimated 25 percent of people with HIV do not realize they are infected.
Adult city residents had an HIV infection rate of 1.4 percent, the survey found. The highest infection rates were seen in men and people ages 40-49, whose rate was 2 percent; men who have sex with men (MSM), whose rate was 14 percent; and blacks, whose rate was 3 percent.
The survey found an estimated 10 percent of men reported having sex with another man at some point in their lifetime. That is in line with another department survey published last fall in which one in 10 men reported MSM activity. However, just 4 percent of men in that survey self-identified as gay. About half, 55 percent, of gay residents reported using a condom during their last sexual encounter, and 35 percent reported taking an HIV test in the previous 12 months.
City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden has proposed making HIV tests more routine by revising state laws requiring separate written consent forms and pre-test counseling. Such a measure is in the Legislature, but it has not yet been put to a vote.
New York Blade
03.09.2007; Trent Straube
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.