NYC Commission on HIV/AIDS Report Recommends Condom Distribution, Needle Exchange, HIV Testing to Slow Spread of Virus
May 25, 2005
The New York City Commission on HIV/AIDS on Monday released a draft report recommending increased condom distribution, the establishment of needle exchanges and routine HIV testing to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS in the city, the New York Times reports (Jacobs, New York Times, 5/24). The commission -- comprised of city health officials, HIV/AIDS researchers and advocates, and HIV-positive individuals -- in its 44-page report recommended making condoms widely available at no cost in public places, including schools and nightclubs (Meyer/Colangelo, New York Daily News, 5/24). The report, which does not include a financial analysis or proposed budget, says routine HIV testing should be a part of all emergency department visits. The report also recommends public awareness campaigns to address crystal methamphetamine use among men who have sex with men, HIV/AIDS-related stigma in the black community and the ways HIV-positive people can help prevent transmission of the disease. In addition, the commission calls for increased access to housing and antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive people. The report also endorses new state rules on gathering HIV/AIDS data, including collecting detailed information about a patient's viral load and signs of drug resistance, that will take effect next week on a temporary basis, the Times reports. Following a public comment period, the commission is expected to formally adopt the report's recommendations on June 13 (New York Times, 5/24). According to city officials, about 100,000 HIV-positive people live in New York City, and there are about 4,000 new AIDS cases annually (AP/WNBC, 5/23).
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