Health Department Publishes FY16 Health Data in Mayor’s Management Report, Shows Significant Year-to-Year Reduction in HIV Diagnoses
With fewer HIV diagnoses in NYC in CY15, City is on track to meet the 2020 End the Epidemic goal
Consistent with national trends, report shows an increase of syphilis cases in NYCSeptember 19, 2016
– As part of the 2016 Mayor’s Management Report (MMR), the Health Department today published new preliminary data showing a consistent decline in the number of HIV diagnoses, on track with the NYC End the Epidemic goal to reduce the annual number of HIV cases in NYC by 2020. The number of diagnoses decreased by nearly 300 cases, from 2,718 in CY14 to 2,449 in CY15 (preliminary). The NYC Plan to End the Epidemic was announced by Mayor de Blasio in 2015, and includes a $23 million investment this fiscal year to increase HIV prevention and health care programming that will benefit nearly 200,000 New Yorkers per year when fully implemented. Other major indicators point to the ongoing commitment of the agency to improve the health and wellness of all New Yorkers. The Mayor’s Management Report can be found at nyc.gov
The 2016 MMR also includes new data showing an increase in the number of syphilis cases in New York City. Consistent with a concerning national trend, in FY16 there were a reported 1,700 cases of syphilis in NYC, compared to 1,315 in FY15. Syphilis continues to increase among men who have sex with men. Preventing syphilis has been a critical focus of the Health Department’s disease prevention efforts, and it dovetails with the End the Epidemic effort to end HIV/AIDS in the next four years. Syphilis is a serious, but treatable, sexually transmitted infection. Without treatment, syphilis can have life threatening outcomes, and can make it easier to contract or spread HIV. The Health Department announced in February that its eight STD clinics have expanded operational hours to offer services Monday through Friday, with Saturday hours available at the Riverside and Fort Greene locations. Expanding operations by 10 hours per week can accommodate 5,000 more patient visits per year beyond the annual total of 70,000 visits. Health Department staff also follow up on all positive syphilis tests to determine if the test represents a new infection or an old, treated infection, and to also ascertain pregnancy status. Syphilis in pregnancy can cause stillbirth, blindness, deafness, and musculoskeletal deformities. In July 2016, the Department issued a Health Alert to providers to emphasize the importance of testing pregnant women for syphilis as rates rose among women of childbearing age in New York City.
“We are proud of the significant progress the City has made in our effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City. Having lived through the years when ending HIV seemed no more than a dream, we continue to be energized as our 2020 goal becomes reality,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett
. “But we are also concerned about the rise of new syphilis diagnoses. The Health Department will continue to make syphilis treatment and prevention a high priority. I encourage New Yorkers to play sure and remind them that the only STD test you should fear is the one you don’t take.”
"Each decline in new HIV diagnoses means lives potentially saved and more resources available for those already diagnosed,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman
. “The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s preliminary report showing that new diagnoses decreased by nearly 300 cases last year is evidence of significant progress in the tremendous city, state, and federal partnership to end the scourge of HIV in New York. I thank Mayor de Blasio for championing the NYC Plan to End the Epidemic and for the City's sustained investment in prevention."
Additional highlights of health indicators in the MMR include:
- Rat Reservoir Initiative: Following the expansion of the Rat Reservoir Program – a citywide initiative that identifies neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of rat activity and targets them for treatment – the percent of initial inspections with active rat signs increased 3.2 percentage points to 13.9 percent in FY16, compared to 10.7 percent in FY15. This rise can be attributed to the proactive targeting of neighborhoods where rat activity is expected. In 2015, the City invested $2.9 million to expand the program, which has proven to be the City’s most effective tool in combating rats. The investment expanded program staff from nine people to 50 people, added exterminators and public health sanitarians, and allows the agency to focus on more “rat reservoirs” across the city.
- Child Care: The percent of child care programs that do not require a compliance inspection decreased to 62 percent in FY16, compared to 65.9 percent in FY15 – indicating that more programs are passing their initial inspection. The Health Department is conducting more targeted inspections of sites with poorer performance than average based on several indicators. Following an increase in the frequency of inspections of low-performing child care programs, the Board of Health last week approved a set of 11 proposals proposed by the Health Department that will further increase accountability and transparency, improve health and safety and prevent fraud in the City’s child care programs – reforms include requirements to post a permit at a child care center entrance, install FDNY-approved fire alarms, and test tap water for lead every five years for all child care centers and submit the lab results to the Health Department.
- Substance Misuse, Overdose, and Buprenorphine: As previously reported, the number of deaths due to unintentional drug overdose increased for the fifth consecutive year, and updated data shows deaths have risen from 793 in CY14 to 939 in CY15. An increasing proportion of these deaths are related to unintentional overdose of heroin or fentanyl. In April, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a three-year, $25 million investment to fund 10 critical programs that increase access to treatment, improve prevention, enhance engagement, and expand surveillance. ThriveNYC, led by First Lady Chirlane McCray, also invests heavily in buprenorphine – a proven treatment for opioid addiction, and in the distribution of and access to naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of heroin and prescription opioid overdose. The Department is also building a rapid assessment and response team to identify of new groups of drug user networks to expand outreach and identify gaps in services, such as access to naloxone.
- Tobacco Use: The prevalence of smoking among adult New Yorkers did not change over the last year, but has declined significantly since 2002. In FY16, 14.3 percent of New York City adults were smokers, which is not a statistically significant increase compared to the 13.9 percent reported in FY15. The current rate represents a 33 percent decline in smoking from the 2002 prevalence rate, when a comprehensive tobacco control strategy was put in place, and is one of the lowest prevalence rates of smoking on record in New York City. It is estimated that there are now less than 950,000 adult smokers in New York City.
- Obesity: The percent of adult New Yorkers who are obese remained the same in FY16 -- 24.1 percent, compared to the 24.7 percent reported in FY15. There was not a significant change in the number of adults who consume one or more sugar-sweetened beverages, from 22.5 percent in FY15 to 23.7 percent in FY16. To promote healthier diets and improve chronic disease outcomes, the City is increasing the availability of healthier options, especially water, by investing in infrastructure to upgrade and install drinking fountains citywide. Additional efforts aimed at promoting healthy options include media campaigns, such as our recent youth-focused “Drink NYC Tap Water” ads, and nutrition education at farmers’ markets and child care centers.
Background on the Mayor’s Management Report
- Customer Service: The Health Department remains committed to improving customer service. The average response time for mail and internet requests remained under two days, at 1.8 days in FY16, compared to 1.3 days in FY15, and significantly outperformed the target of four days. The slight increase is due to several factors, including an increase in volume of online orders submitted by customers. The average response time for death certificate mail and internet orders was two days in FY16, compared to 1.7 days in FY15. This increase was the result of normal fluctuations in the number of orders submitted, and an overall increase in internet orders during the second half of FY16. The response time also significantly outperformed the target of four days.
The Mayor's Management Report (MMR), which is mandated by the City Charter, serves as a public account of the performance of City agencies, measuring whether they are delivering services efficiently, effectively and expeditiously. The MMR is released twice a year. The Preliminary MMR provides an early update of how the City is performing four months into the fiscal year. The full-fiscal MMR, published each September, looks retrospectively at the City's performance during the prior fiscal year.
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