New York City Records Increasing Number of HIV Cases Among MSM Younger Than Age 30
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Tuesday reported that new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men younger than age 30 has increased by 33% since 2001, the New York Times reports. The city in 2006 recorded 499 HIV cases among MSM younger than age 30, compared with 374 in 2001 (Kershaw, New York Times, 9/12).
New HIV cases among MSM ages 13 to 19 also increased from 41 cases in 2001 to 87 in 2006, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports. More than 90% of MSM under age 20 who were newly diagnosed with HIV were black or Hispanic (AP/Long Island Newsday, 9/12). In East and Central Harlem in Manhattan, there were 56 new HIV cases among MSM in 2006, up 115% from 26 in 2001. In addition, HIV cases in Manhattan's Chelsea and Clinton neighborhoods increased by 56% from 25 in 2001 to 39 in 2006, the New York Sun reports (New York Sun, 9/12). According to the Times, new HIV cases for MSM older than age 30 decreased by 22% (New York Times, 9/12).
The city health department did not offer explanations for the increased number of HIV cases among young MSM, the AP/Newsday reports. Donna Futterman, director of the adolescent AIDS program at Children's Hospital at Montefiore, said that more cases are being recorded among minority MSM ages 13 to 19 because they might feel that they need to hide their sexual orientation (AP/Long Island Newsday, 9/12). New York Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden in a statement said the department is "very concerned about the increase in HIV among young" MSM, adding, "Unless young men reduce the number of partners they have, and protect themselves and their partners by using condoms more consistently, we will face another wave of suffering and death from HIV and AIDS" (DHMH statement, 9/11). The report was based on data from the first half of 2006 and was extrapolated to the entire year, the Sun reports (New York Sun, 9/12).