HIV spreading rapidly in New York

Particularly among gay minority men, a perennial high-risk group, the HIV virus is spreading rapidly in New York city. HIV is spreading through the city at three times the national rate, or about 72 new infections for every 100,000 people, according to a study released this week by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). That's compared with 23 per 100,000 nationally. Using a CDC formula, the DHMH report estimated that 4,762 New Yorkers contracted HIV in 2006.

Some additional statistics from the study:

* Men accounted for 76 percent of new HIV infections and women 25 percent (figures over 100 percent due to rounding).

* Blacks made up 46 percent of the newly-infected, Hispanics 32 percent and whites 21 percent.

* Homosexual sex between men was the main cause of 50 percent of new infections, high risk heterosexual sex 22 percent, intravenous drug use 8 percent and unknown causes 18 percent.

Gay minority men were especially at risk. For example, of new HIV infections among men under age 30 who have homosexual sex, 77 percent were in black or Hispanic men, along with 59 percent of new HIV infections among men ages 30 to 50. In fact, almost two-thirds of the city's new infections occurred in people 30 to 50 years old.

To learn more about this report:
- read this piece from the New York Times