What you should know
- The New York City Department of Health released on Wednesday, World AIDS Day, the annual report on progress toward ending the city’s HIV epidemic in 2020.
- According to the report, 1,396 people were diagnosed with HIV in the Big Apple in 2020, 21% less than in 2019 and 76% less than in 2001.
- While these data represent an important step towards ending the epidemic, inequalities persist in many communities. Of all newly diagnosed cisgender and transgender women with HIV in 2020, 92% were Black or Latino, and of all newly diagnosed cisgender and transgender men, 79% were Black or Latino.
The New York City Department of Health released on Wednesday, World AIDS Day, the annual report on progress toward ending the city’s HIV epidemic in 2020. According to the report, 1,396 people were diagnosed with HIV in the Big Apple in 2020, 21% less than in 2019 and 76% less than in 2001.
According to the department, there was a decrease in HIV diagnoses from 2019 to 2020 in men, women and transgender people; Black, Latino, White, Asian / Pacific Islander, and Native American; all age groups 13 years and older and nearly all transmission categories. Additionally, estimated new HIV infections declined 29% between 2016 and 2020, and heterosexual women and men who have sex with men (MSM) experienced particularly steep drops of 62% and 48%, respectively.
While these data represent an important step towards ending the epidemic, inequalities persist in many communities. Of all newly diagnosed cisgender and transgender women with HIV in 2020, 92% were Black or Latino, and of all newly diagnosed cisgender and transgender men, 79% were Black or Latino. Of all men newly diagnosed with HIV in 2020, 59% were MSM; Of all new diagnoses among MSM, 78% were Black or Latino MSM, 79% of whom were between the ages of 20 and 39. And nearly half of New Yorkers newly diagnosed with HIV in 2020 lived in high or very high poverty neighborhoods.
The 2020 HIV surveillance data also reflects the impact of COVID-19 because it affected the availability and uptake of non-emergency and non-COVID-19 health care services in New York City, including those HIV services. The reduction in HIV testing and laboratory services was a contributing factor to the number of new HIV diagnoses reported in 2020, which is less than expected based on previously observed declines.
In 2020, 40% of people newly diagnosed with HIV in New York City were virally suppressed within three months of diagnosis, compared to 53% in 2019.
“AIDS has not disappeared yet it exists but the good thing is that we have treatments and the important thing is that we continue educating the community that they know that there is help,” said Olga Victor of the Boriken Health Center in New York City.
In order to receive this help, the most important thing is to take a test and it is estimated that one in six Latinos, according to national statistics, is infected with the HIV virus without knowing it, said Luciano Reberte of the Latino Commission against AIDS.
“We must definitely continue with our efforts, the majority of Latinos in this country over the age of 18 have never had the test and it is important that people get tested and know their diagnosis,” said Roberte.
FREE HIV TESTING IN NEW YORK CITY:
- New York City has a number of free and low-cost HIV testing locations. For information you can click here or you can call 3-1-1 or text “TESTNYC” at 877-877.
- The Oasis Latino LGBTS Wellness Center also offers free HIV testing services. Visit this website for information.
- Latino Commission on AIDS offers HIV testing in three different locations. For information visit this website: www.latinoaids.org.
- All of the Health Department’s sexual wellness clinics and the New York City Sexual Wellness Clinic Hotline offer low-cost or no-cost services related to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, to anyone 12 and under. years or more, regardless of your immigration status. Parental consent is not required. For more information on sexual wellness clinics, including their services, locations, and hours of operation, visit nyc.gov/health/clinics.
- Free condoms and other safer sex products are available at distribution sites throughout the city. To find a location nearby you can visit NYC Health Map and select “Free Safer Sex ProductsNew Yorkers can order safer sex products for home delivery through the program By 2 By visiting this website and searching “condoms“.
- Free HIV self-tests are also available for delivery by visiting the NYC Health Map and selecting “Sexual Health Services” and later ” HIV Testing“.
“The decline in new HIV diagnoses marks another milestone in our long fight against the HIV epidemic in New York City and represents a model for the nation,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “While the fight against HIV has become more challenging in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain focused on our efforts to reduce the stigma, discrimination and inequities that put people at risk of HIV infection, particularly people of color. “