New HIV stats show that we must continue to increase prevention efforts
New diagnoses of HIV infection in New York City reached an all-time low of 2,157 in 2017 — a 5.4% decrease from 2016 — the New York City Health Department announced yesterday.
The infection rates among women — a group that saw a slight uptick in new infections in 2016 — fell by nearly 12%. Other encouraging news: 85% of New Yorkers living with HIV were virally suppressed, up from 79% in 2013. If a person with HIV is virally suppressed for at least six months, studies have shown that he or she cannot pass along the virus to sexual partners, helping to keep new infections down.
However, the report released in time for World AIDS Day showed some areas where we need to redouble our prevention efforts says the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. For example, new infections among Latino men who have sex with men increased in 2016, according to the report.
“Another year of record low new HIV infections in New York City is reason to be optimistic about where we’re headed in this epidemic,” said Kelsey Louie, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “The fact that new infections among women — a group that saw a slight uptick in new infections in 2016 — fell by nearly 12% is a testament to the power of following the data and being smart about prevention targeting and outreach. But while there is a lot to celebrate, we must also remember that 2,157 New Yorkers were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2017, and that’s 2,157 New Yorkers too many.
“With proven prevention methods like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the knowledge that people living with HIV who are on treatment cannot transmit the virus, we have the tools and the data to end this epidemic once and for all.” said Louie, “Now we need the proper resources. GMHC is proud to partner with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as we work collectively to stop new infections and reach all New Yorkers who are living with or affected by this disease.”