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New York to Test Bronx for HIV

Positive Step? NY Wants to Test Everyone in the Bronx For HIV

Although the rate of AIDS diagnosis is higher in Manhattan, the Bronx has New York's highest AIDS death rate — a figure health officials blame on people not getting tested until it's too late to manage the disease. In order to curb the graveness of an HIV diagnoses, the city has launched a campaign to test everyone in the Bronx.

Starting Friday, if you go to a Bronx hospital for an unrelated ailment, doctors will test you for HIV unless you object. New York state law requires written consent and patient counseling to go along with an HIV test. The Bronx initiative will shorten the 20-minute counseling session to five minutes and offer routine tests at emergency rooms and storefront clinics. Elected officials, health-care providers, and clergy members plan to assist the effort for universal testing.

Why do you think people don't get tested on their own? Would you avoid an HIV test if you first had to listen to 20 minutes of what will happen if it comes back positive? Could this publicized campaign somehow stigmatize the Bronx?


Join The Conversation
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 9 years
I think that people should be offered when they go to the hospital an HIV test (but asked first if they've had sex,or been feeling ill or whatever - you know) and if they don't want it they can say no.
wickedcupofjoe wickedcupofjoe 9 years
Marni: I don't think she's implying that at all. It's obvious (I'm from NYC, btw, and have friends that live in the Bronx) that for the Bronx to have the highest death rate, people are NOT getting tested and passing it on either knowingly or unknowingly. She said that responsible people will get tested. She didn't say there aren't any responsible people in the Bronx. I think it's a good idea. It's preventive. If detected early, drugs can help you live longer. That's what I believe they are getting at. They want to help people live longer. As for testing -- I got pregnant when I lived in NYC (8 years ago) and an HIV test was required and I was told the results. Yes, the stigma comes into play, but I honestly believe I'd want to know and do things to sustain my life.
nateshatesh nateshatesh 9 years
Kim that's what I mean. I think they should give that lil push. Cause they never know the patients maybe thinking of getting test but just dont't know how to say it maybe cause they are scared, nervous or in denial.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I like the idea that they kind of "throw it in there" when you are at the hospital, but I also like that you can opt out of it. I think that more ob/gyns should actively encourage patients to get tested, rather than leaving it up to the patients to bring it up. (The same goes for family health doctors, etc.)
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
JANNETH: This isn't about the responsible people. How do you think the Bronx got to have the highest NYC AIDS death rate? Guess there might be a few (thousands) of people who can't be bothered communicating honestly. ARE YOU IMPLYING WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE THAT CANT COMMUNICATE?
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
I think everyone should be tested. People should have the personal choice to decide not to and that is there decision. a person raised in the Bronx...arrgggg!!!! We already have to deal with so much negativity from outsiders..and by outsiders I mean even people that live in Manhattan that think we are just 'ghetto' uneducated losers..and just going to give them more reason to hate..i do feel like a health concern like this should outweigh any stigma we will receive but i cant help but feel a little uncomfortable
janneth janneth 9 years
Fuz and Amber, you are so right that responsible people will get tested and communicate honestly with their partners. Yeah, so what. This isn't about the responsible people. How do you think the Bronx got to have the highest NYC AIDS death rate? Guess there might be a few (thousands) of people who can't be bothered communicating honestly.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Yeah fuzzles!!!
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I feel that responsible peope, straight, gay, bi, whatever, will get tested and communicate honestly with their partner of choice. Personal judgement trumps that of the government.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
The definition of slippery slope. Without knowing more, I am suspicious of the backers of this idea. Elected officials (PAC driven), health care professionals ("Ask your doctor about _______"), and clergy (not going to even go there). What's in it for them?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Stigma does sum it up quit nicely kikidawn. Mom in CT, not to be argumentative yes the virus can pass through a latex condom however if there is no defect and the condom is stored, prepared and used properly that is nearly impossible. I will agree though that it happens all to often because condoms are not stored correctly, when oil based lubricants are used it breaks down the latex, manufacturer defects and the simply rush to get it on which can case damage to a condom when people use their teeth to rip open the package or snag it on a finger nail and such. All things to make note of.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
I'll take my chances - if I wanna live in a controlled environment I'll move to Cuba. I'm done on this subject. I'll never agree to someone else deciding what I should do with my body. This is America people quit trying to take away our rights because of your silly fears. If you wanna get tested, get tested if you don't, don't. What's next?
janneth janneth 9 years
Just do it, mandatory, everybody.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Why do you think people don't get tested on their own? To me the answer is plain and simple: stigma. I got tested for the first time about 9 months ago (and will get tested again at my yearly in about 2 months). I knew I didn't have any diseases, but I decided on getting tested every year because I need to take control of my sexual health etc. I've only been with one person and plan on keeping it that way, and I completely trust him. But I wouldn't want to have it and not know. Well, I said all that to say this: I was terrified going into the lab and getting blood drawn... I knew the nurse knew why I was getting it and the stigma of getting tested was almost unbearable. So I talked to the nurse about and she told me testing is so routine to them they don't think twice about it. I think part of the problem is people think they will be judged. I knew I didn't have (and was right), and was tested anyways. But what if you actually thought you did have it?
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Amber, I see where you are coming from because personal responsibility is so important. However, I think with somethings like disease, there are risks to the community as a whole that need to be factored in.
Mom-in-CT Mom-in-CT 9 years
There is no such thing as safe sex. The HIV virus passes through condoms folks. Ask a doctor! The joke is on us who believed them. The women who were sterilized from the IUD believed their doctors too! Maybe Rev. Wright was right after all.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
I'm just tired of everyone else deciding what's right (or wrong) for me and then asking everyone else to pay for. My standard mantra - why not just outlaw everything, bring in Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez and rest of the Commie leaders of the world to solve all our problems. Then let's bring in the Makeup Master and Fashion Police -shall I go on? Let's not forget the Fatty Food Controller.
emsmiley emsmiley 9 years
I know there will be many out there who disagree, but I believe this should be mandatory. Simply because, knowing the HIV status of a patient can help the medical staff to know how to treat the patient. I have a close family member who was diagnosed with HIV several years ago. Last year, he was admitted to the emergency room and because he is so stubborn and ashamed he did not make the staff aware of his status. They proceeded to treat him and they gave him the wrong medicine. He would have died from the medicine they gave him all because they were unaware of his status. His doctor eventually made it to the hospital and had the staff stop giving him this medicine. Simply stated, knowing whether you have HIV or not will help the hospital, clinic or doctor more accurately treat you for whatever problem you come in for. My one criticism, though i do understand why they are doing this in the Bronx, is that it is not state-wide.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I have heard that some insurance companies raise rates if you get tested for STDs to frequently...does anyone know if this is true? I think it is a good thing, but that is also with the condition that people have the right to refuse. For the sake of society, sometimes big steps need to be taken to control disease.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
As long as they have the option of saying no, I think it's fine. I have to get a pregnancy test every time I go to a hospital. I'd rather have blood drawn than pee in a cup any day. If it was standard everywhere, nobody would think anything of it.
em1282 em1282 9 years
Er, I think rationalize is the wrong word...I'm a bit braindead today. :)
em1282 em1282 9 years
Hypno's dead-on...a lot of people just rationalize their behavior to avoid getting tested. Personally, it would be a lot worse to not know that you have an STI...I'd rather just get the test over with and work with managing/curing whatever I have rather than sitting there in denial. Also, I'm sure listening to 20 minutes of what would happen if you were positive would freak anyone out,'re already there, might as well get the test over and done with.
lovelie lovelie 9 years
I think a lot of people are just scared. They put it off because they don't want to find out the results.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
There are good things about this and bad. It just depends on the follow up. Is the testing for statisical purposes, or to actually help the people who are, or educate the community?
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
Everyone should be tested. As long as people have a right to say no I commend the effort. Now if had been mandatory I would have objected. I think that public health officials should do more to encourage and make it easier for people to get tested.
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