Black, Hispanic Men Have Highest Rate of HIV Diagnoses in New York City, Report Finds
The majority of New York City's new HIV diagnoses are among black and Hispanic men under age 30, according to a report released this week by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, The Advocate reports.
According to the report, in 2006, black men were diagnosed at twice the rate of whites, and Hispanics had 55% more new diagnoses than whites. Among teenagers, 90% of new HIV diagnoses were among blacks and Hispanics.
Tokes Osubu, executive director of Gay Men of African Descent, said in a statement that his organization "will continue to work with other stakeholders to save the lives of our young men," adding, "We need an integrated approach across city agencies, social justice organizations and AIDS organizations, and a less judgmental approach by faith institutions" (The Advocate, 9/14).
Overall, new HIV cases among MSM ages 13 to 19 increased from 41 cases in 2001 to 87 in 2006, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports (AP/Long Island Newsday, 9/12). New HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men younger than age 30 has increased by 33% since 2001, according to the report. 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).
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, according to the New York Sun (New York Sun, 9/12).