City statistics show drop in new HIV diagnoses

The city saw the lowest number of new HIV cases in 35 years following a big public push for testing and treatment.

There were 2,493 new HIV diagnoses in 2015, a 8.3% drop from 2014, according to new stats set to be released Tuesday by the city’s health department.

Last year also marked the first time since the city tracked HIV cases starting in 1981 that no infant was diagnosed with the virus.

Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett credited the city and state’s programs that offered free anti-viral drugs such as PrEP and PEP to New Yorkers and a media campaign that promotes safe sex, as the biggest factors behind the declines.

“This is very important because the more options people have the more likely they will prevent infection,” she said.

The data, however, showed slight increases among the New Yorkers who are the majority of new diagnoses.

Men made up of 81% of the cases, up .3% from 2014, black and Latinos made up 78% of diagnoses, a 1.9% rise from 2014, and 62% of the people diagnosed were between 20 and 39-years-old, a 1.8% increase from two years ago.

Bassett said the city would continue to conduct outreach efforts to all city communities and inform them about the free options for testing and treatment.

“For some, it’s still scary to have an HIV test,” she said. “We’re working hard to address this.”


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