HIV rates rise in gay New Yorkers under 30
Posted by pozlife on September 15, 2007
The majority of the new cases occurred among gay African-Americans and Latinos. Among gay men under 20 years of age, more than 90 percent of those diagnosed with HIV belonged to one of those two ethnic groups, the report read.
According to a study by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, new diagnoses of HIV among gays in New York City increased by 33 percent during the last six years, from 374 in 2001 to 499 in 2006.
Gays between 13 and 19 years of age registered a high increase in HIV infection rates — from 41 new cases six years ago to 87 in 2006.
Every borough in the city except Staten Island witnessed an increase in infection rates.
The Department of Health report did not offer possible explanations as to why rates of infection have risen among gay men under 30, and adolescents between 13 and 19 in particular.
Dr. Donna Futterman, director of the youth AIDS program at Children’s Hospital of Montefiore, said teenagers in minority groups may feel more pressure to hide their sexual orientation.
“The pressure to hide their identity puts them in riskier situations than if they could openly date and express their wishes and expectations,” Futterman said.
Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden urged young people to reduce their number of sexual partners, and use condoms more consistently.
Frieden pointed out that the current generation of young people is growing up without having seen friends die of AIDS, which could be giving them the false impression “that HIV is not such a terrible disease.” (AP)