Jersey City has the second highest rate of AIDS cases caused by intravenous injection of drugs and Newark has the fourth highest rate, according to research on 99 metropolitan areas released last week by Dr. Dawn Day of the Dogwood Center, a research organization in Princeton that studies the impact of AIDS and drug policies.
In 1997, Jersey City had 48 new cases of injection-related AIDS for every 100,000 people, while Newark had 36 new cases per 100,000, the study found. New York City and Baltimore were first and third, respectively. As of the end of September, New Jersey had 37,163 AIDS cases and another 13,761 people tested positive for HIV, according to the Department of Health and Senior Services.
Although the number of deaths from AIDS is declining, the number of people in New Jersey living with injection-related HIV or AIDS increased by 5 percent in the year ending June 30, 1998, Dr. Day said. The Dogwood Center favors legalizing the exchange of cleaned hypodermic needles for used ones. KAREN DeMASTERS