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New HIV diagnoses hit record low in New York City

New HIV diagnoses hit record low in New York City

The red ribbon is the international symbol for awareness around HIV infection

New York City reported record low new HIV diagnoses for the second year in a row. This news comes ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene revealed the promising numbers to the NY Daily News.

In 2017, 2,157 people received HIV diagnoses. This is down 5.4% from the 2,279 diagnosed in 2016, which was a record low then.

‘We have fewer people diagnosed with HIV this year, again a historical low,’ said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the deputy commissioner for disease control.

‘It really is showing an evolution of what’s happening with the epidemic in New York City.’

The city began documenting cases of HIV in 2001. In that year, there were over 5,600 diagonses. The number of new cases have now dropped by more than half since then.

More numbers in the city

The 2,157 diagnoses from 2017 doesn’t mean over 2,000 contracted HIV that year. People could have had the disease before officially being diagnoses.

The amount of new infections is also falling, however.

Daskalakis said the number of new infections is down 36% since 2013.

Numbers are also dropping for women in the city. New diagonses fell by 11.6%, as NY Daily News reports.

Only one group in the city saw an increase in new infections — Latino men. The city is already addressing this problem and launched a Spanish-language HIV awareness campaign.

Daskalakis believes the decrease in these numbers is in thanks to efforts on the city’s part.

‘We’re testing the right people, we’re diagnosing them, we’re diagnosing them early, before they get sick, and we’ve also seen a decrease in new transmission,’ he said.

There is also the prevalence of medication like PrEP and spreading the message that ‘the undetectable virus is untransmittable’.

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