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New York Data Reveal Worrying HIV Trend in Women
Dec 31, 2003
Paul Simao
In what appears to be a slight gender-based shift in US AIDS cases, a study released Wednesday shows that women now account for more than a third of new HIV diagnoses in New York City.
The data collected by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and published by CDC showed that 35 percent of 6,662 new HIV cases in the city in 2001 occurred among women. Before 2001, 28 percent of AIDS patients diagnosed with HIV were female. The study offered the first analysis of HIV data collected under a 2000 state law requiring health-care workers to report the names of newly diagnosed HIV or AIDS patients.
The findings offer an opportunity to improve HIV prevention programs so they target everyone at highest risk of infection, said Dr. Susan Manning, a CDC epidemiologist and a co-author of the study. "Although we should continue to focus on the groups that have the highest rates of diagnoses - males and non-Hispanic blacks - we also should focus our prevention efforts more toward women and younger people," she said. HIV in New York City remains concentrated among men, non-Hispanic blacks and people ages 25- 44, Manning noted. In 2001, blacks accounted for about 54 percent of new HIV diagnoses in the city.
Health experts have warned of a rise in HIV infections among blacks and intravenous drug users (IDUs). Syphilis, which can increase the likelihood of HIV transmission, has also been increasing among gay and bisexual men. Responding to these trends, CDC earlier this year recommended that routine HIV testing be expanded to include pregnant women, IDUs and anyone who engages in unsafe sex.
The full report, "Implementation of Named HIV Reporting - New York City, 2001," was published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2004;52(51):1248-1252).
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