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NYC recommends antiretroviral therapy for patients living with HIV

(Xinhua)

10:26, December 02, 2011

NEW YORK, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Thursday a new recommendation that doctors offer every person with an HIV diagnosis antiretroviral treatment to help them live longer and prevent transmission.

This marks a change from the current practice that treatment only be offered to those who show signs of damage to their immune systems, said the mayor during the annual World AIDS Day commemorative ceremony at Gracie Mansion. "Over the past ten years HIV diagnoses and deaths in New York City have seen a dramatic decline," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Steady progress in our fight against HIV has turned what used to be a death sentence into a disease that can be prevented and, with antiretroviral therapy, managed.

The annual death toll from HIV in the city is down by more than a third: 933 deaths in 2009Despite this progress, however, more than 110,000 people in New York City are infected with HIV, more than in any other U.S. city and about 75 percent of all cases in the New York State.

Figures from the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) showed that HHC has tested more than one million New Yorkers for HIV since 2005 when the public hospitals and health centers began offering HIV screening as a routine part of medical care for patients aged 13 to 64.

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