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January 8, 2008

HIV and Syphilis on the Rise in NYC Bathhouses

Although health officials have claimed over the past few years that the high HIV-infection rate among New York City’s gay and bisexual men has stabilized, the city’s health department says that rates of HIV and syphilis infection are actually escalating, Gay City News reports. (gaycitynews.com, 1/7).

In a memo sent to Gay City News, Dr. Thomas Farley—advisor to the city’s health commissioner—writes, “New York City is now experiencing an increase in syphilis and an increase in HIV infection in men who have sex with men.”

The six-page memo suggests that New York must reevaluate its policies on commercial sex venues such as bathhouses in order to curb infection.

Bathhouses are subject to the same regulations as other venues in the city. New proposed regulations, according to the article, include: closer monitoring of locations where sex occurs on-premises, stepping up efforts to close sex clubs or “private sex parties,” and ensuring that safe sex is enforced.

To read the entire memo, titled “Policy Regarding Bathhouses and Other Commercial Sex Venues in New York City,” click here.


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