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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
NEW YORK: Chelsea Has Highest HIV Infection Rate in New York, City Says
Matthew Katz
September 30, 2011
DNAinfo.com (New York) (09.21.11) - Friday, September 30,

A neighborhood popular with gay residents has New York City's highest HIV infection rate, according to city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene data for 2009. Chelsea had 155.3 HIV diagnoses per 100,000 population that year, more than three times the city average. The second-highest rate was in Central Harlem-Morningside Heights, with 127.1 diagnoses per 100,000 population.

About 5 percent of Chelsea residents were living with HIV/AIDS, compared with 1.4 percent for the entire city, the report found. In Chelsea, 75 percent of those diagnosed identified as men who have sex with men, compared with 43 percent of HIV patients citywide. About 54.5 percent of Chelsea's HIV patients are white, compared with 16.7 percent citywide.

"People are not thinking of HIV as a big deal anymore," said John Guidry, director of community health and research at Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC). "It's not the first thing on people's minds. There may not be a sense of urgency." "There's patterns of people not disclosing to the person you would be partnering with," Guidry said. "They're in the moment, and it still stops people from taking steps to protect themselves." "There can still be a heightened sense of stigma individually that keeps people quiet," Guidry said.

The city provides rapid HIV testing in the neighborhood, and in July GMHC opened the storefront Center for HIV Prevention, 244 W. 29th St. For more information city and GMHC clinics, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/std/std2.shtml and http://www.gmhc.org/our-new-home.

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