HIV/AIDS, Health Problems Among New York’s Homeless Worse Than General Population, Study Says
Homeless men and women die at twice the rate of other New Yorkers, and HIV/AIDS and substance abuse account for nearly one third of all homeless deaths, a study says, the New York Times reports. The study -- which was directed by Bonnie Kerker, an epidemiologist who worked with New York City's Department of Homeless Services, and co-sponsored by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene -- surveyed more than 100,000 homeless adults who had spent one night or more in a shelter from 2001 through 2003 and tried to "quantif[y] problems" faced by the city's homeless. The study finds that homeless people are seven times more likely than other New Yorkers to die from AIDS-related causes, the rate of new HIV cases is 16 times higher among the homeless than the general population, and homeless women have higher HIV-prevalence rates than men. The city used the results from the study to change homeless shelters' HIV-testing policies, which previously offered rapid HIV tests only in men's shelters, the New York Times reports (Santora, New York Times, 1/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.