Transmission according to Race and Gender (2004):
Total # of living with HIV/AIDS in Brooklyn:
Black population: 41 % women & 59% men
Hispanic Population: 35% women & 65% men
White Population: 21% women 79% men
Cases caused by:
IDU = 35%
MSM = 27%
Heterosexual = 34%
Perinatal = 4%
Sixty-two percent of the people living with HIV as of 2004 were black, whereas 25% were Hispanic and 11% were white (12). There were more men living with HIV/AIDS as of 2004 than women in every case. The statistics were as follows: 41% of the black population was women, whereas 59% were men, 35% of the Hispanic population was women, whereas 65% were men and 21% of the white population was women whereas 79% was men (12).
Intravenus drug use (IDU) is the most common mode of transmission; it is also more common among men than women. As of 2004, 35% of the total number of HIV positive people contracted the disease through injection drug use (12). However, the rate of transmission through heterosexual contact is increasing because some men are either using needles or having sexual relations with other men and then having sex with women (3). Out of the total number of people living with HIV in Brooklyn as of 2004, heterosexual transmission is responsible for approximately 34% of the cases (12).
As the overall rate of infection in the New York City area has been decreasing, there has been a steadily growing rate of infection among women in Brooklyn, particularly black women. Women are now more likely than men to be diagnosed with HIV because of heterosexual transmission, and between the years of 1991 and 1999 the rate of new infections among women in Brooklyn increased from 27.4 % to 35.4% (3). As of 2004, 41% of the HIV positive black people who were living were women. (12)As of 2006, one third of the women newly diagnosed with HIV in New York City live in Brooklyn. This is partially a result of the fact that many people are ignorant of the causes of HIV. When one woman was asked about her knowledge of the disease by a reporter for the Daily News, she replied “I don’t have sex, I have anal sex (6).” This just shows how unaware people are of the risks that they expose themselves to. Women are more likely to contract the disease through heterosexual transmission because there is a greater chance of skin bruising during sexual contact; many women contract the disease during sexual intercourse with injection drug users or bisexual men because bodily fluids are exchanged (3).
The rate of infection among women is not the only rate to have increased in Brooklyn since the 1980’s; there are more children living with HIV/AIDS in Brooklyn than in any other borough. This is because ninety-five percent of infants with AIDS in the borough contracted it before or during birth, because mothers were infected by HIV positive men during conception. Approximately 4% of the people living with HIV/AIDS in Brooklyn as of 2004 were infants who contracted the virus to perinatal contact (12). An effort has been made to reduce the risk of infant infection by using antiretroviral drug therapy for pregnant women infected with HIV/AIDS. Since the treatment has begun, the number of infected infants has decreased (3).