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Condom Fatigue' Shock in Epidemic
  New York Post
Feb 22, 2004
Susan Edelman
A New York City Health Department study presented in San Francisco at the 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections showed that more than 100,000 New Yorkers are infected with HIV/AIDS and that HIV infection among gay men has held steady at 2.5 percent. It also found new cases growing among women, black, Hispanics and heterosexuals in general.
Warning of a "new epidemic," AIDS experts cited several reasons why HIV continues to spread, among them:
--Condom fatigue. Dr. Marjorie Hill, assistant commissioner for the city's bureau of HIV and AIDS, said laziness, impatience and pleasure-seeking put many people at risk, including the 45 percent of men who have sex with men without condoms.
--A lack of women taking protection into their own hands. Wider use of female condoms and the development of microbicides (vaginal creams to kill HIV) would help empower women to take more control of HIV prevention.
--Lower fear of AIDS due to the success of antiretroviral therapy.
--Sex parties where young people use alcohol and other substances - including crystal meth - and lose inhibitions.
--Poverty and homelessness, which cause some young people to trade sex for housing, drugs and money.
Hill said the health department, which recently ran a "Bring Your Own Condom" poster campaign targeted to women, gave out more than 2.6 million male condoms and 114,000 female condoms to community groups last year. Ana Oliveira, executive director of Gay Men's Health
Crisis, said the city giveaway "just scratches the surface" of what is needed.
Oliveira said GMHC developed a poster showing Manhattan covered in a condom to promote National Condom Week, but the transit authority rejected the ads for subways, saying they "violated our standards of appropriateness."
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