CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateNEW YORK: Young Black Gay Men Who Hide Sexuality May Be Behind Brooklyn's HIV Epidemic, Doctors Say
April 25, 2013
New York Daily News (04.24.13)
Doctors contend that a new generation of young males in Brooklyn, N.Y. who are hiding their sexual identity are responsible for the increase in HIV infection in the borough. HIV cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) under age 30 years increased from 232 in 2001 to 491 in 2011. Dr. Yusef Afacan, director of the AIDS Center Program at Woodull Medical Center, stated that he has treated boys as young as age 14 who contracted HIV from another male. Afacan commented that young gay men are not using protection. Doctors also believe that MSM who hide their sexual preferences for other men are also infecting their black female partners who made up 79 percent of new HIV cases in Brooklyn in 2011.
Advocates are focusing on central Brooklyn neighborhoods where the city’s largest numbers of people with HIV infection live. More than 15,000 people with HIV infection live in central Brooklyn and about 3,600 of them identify as MSM. These 15,000 people are 10 percent of New York City’s HIV/AIDS cases. Brooklyn AIDS Task Force opened a store-front office called Brooklyn Men Konnect in the area where some of the strong anti-gay attitudes are prevalent. Their workers search out gay dating sites posing as singles who give graphic intimate advice and push the message of safe sex during hookups. Doctors are also complaining that the federal aid for young HIV/AIDS patients in Brooklyn has been reduced from $2 million a year to $350,000.