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Prevalence of HIV among childbearing women has declined in New York

CHICAGO The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among childbearing women has declined in New York from 1988 through 2000, according to an article in the May issue of The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

According to information in the article, infection with HIV has increasingly occurred among women of childbearing age, with New York State (NYS) having the largest proportion of HIV-infected women and children in the United States. In November 1987, the NYS Department of Health began monitoring the HIV epidemic among childbearing women with the implementation of the Survey of Childbearing Women, in which blood specimens from all infants born in NYS were tested for HIV antibodies by the state Newborn Screening Program.

Wendy P. Pulver, M.S., of the New York State Department of Health, Albany, and colleagues assessed HIV prevalence trends among childbearing women in NYS from 1988 through 2000. A total of 3.43 million infants were tested for HIV antibodies during the 13-year period studied.

The researchers found that trends indicated a steady decline in HIV prevalence in NYS over the study period. New York City had a 49 percent decrease in prevalence from 1.22 percent between 1988 through 1989 to 0.62 percent in 1999 through 2000. The rest of NYS showed a 24 percent decline (from 0.17 percent to 0.13 percent). Analysis showed that some areas of the state experienced little or no decline.

"White and Hispanic women experienced the greatest declines in NYC (68 percent and 61 percent, respectively)," the researchers write. "African American women in NYC also experienced a decline in prevalence (31 percent) but not as great a decline as that seen in white and Hispanic women. Outside NYC, Hispanic and African American women (73 percent and 37 percent, respectively) also experienced declines, with white women showing the smallest decline (17 percent)."

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Contact: PR Office, New York State Health Department
518-474-7354
JAMA and Archives Journals
3-May-2004


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