More young men in NYC getting AIDS

Jan. 2, 2008 at 2:05 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- The number of young men with AIDS who have been infected through unprotected homosexual sex is rising in New York City.

Many of the latest victims are black and Hispanic, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The increase in cases has occurred while the city's overall rate of HIV infection and of AIDS has been declining.

Experts see a number of reasons for the new wave of AIDS cases. Drugs have made many of those infected more reckless and likely to have unprotected sex.

There is also a greater stigma to AIDS infection among gays than there was 10 or 20 years ago when the disease tended to unite the homosexual community. That makes young men less likely to admit infection or to ask sex partners about their HIV status.

Dr. Thomas Frieden said that young men also have "treatment optimism," believing that if they are infected they can continue to live normal lives through drug therapy.

"People who grew up watching their friends die of AIDS are a lot more careful than those who didn't," Frieden said.

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