New York City’s HIV epidemic continues to spread. Despite official statements calling infection rates “stable,” Gay City News has obtained a 6-page memo in which health commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden says otherwise.
New York City is now experiencing an increase in syphilis and an increase in HIV infection in men who have sex with men. In view of this increase it is appropriate to re-evaluate New York’s current policies regarding commercial sex venues to see if policy changes could reduce the spread of these infections.
The city’s policies began in 1985, when they closed dozens of bathhouses and sex clubs, mostly gay, to stem HIV infection. Frieden’s memo suggests increasing inspections and closing venues that don’t comply with warnings. What’s interesting is that two of the suggested solutions – extending policy to private sex parties and clubs and using the Sanitary Code to shut them down completely – specifically warn that implementation will piss off the gays. Frieden knows his shit.