The Numbers Behind NYC’s AIDS Epidemic

Since the 1980s, New York City has been suffering from an AIDS epidemic. During its peak, the city was more affected by AIDS than any other American city. While much has changed from the time where AIDS was thought to be just a mysterious “gay cancer,” the city still has an AIDS problem that the Department of Health is trying to fix. This past July, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state is on track to reduce the number of HIV infections to just 750 by the end of 2020, and that the number of New Yorkers with detectable levels of HIV decreased by 10 percent between 2013 and 2014.

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A look at the numbers on the graph below shows that the government and Department of Health have been making progress in their attempt to reduce instances of HIV/AIDS. Based on the graph, the number of total instances of HIV/AIDS in the city’s five boroughs dropped from 2,104 to 1,605 – a 23 percent decrease – from 2011 to 2013. Kings County has the most recorded instances of HIV/AIDS, with Bronx trailing in second and New York coming in third on a consistent basis from 2011 to 2013. Richmond has the fewest amount of cases reported each year.

However, a look into the adjusted rate per 100,000 people paints a different picture. According to that segment of the interactive graph, Bronx leads all of the other boroughs, with 35.6 instances reported for every 100,000 people. When viewing the data in this light, which is a more accurate way to determine which boroughs are harder hit, New York ranks second and Kings County ranks third.

Having these numbers will continue to help the city and state solve our HIV/AIDS epidemic once and for all.

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