April 9, 2012
Look at the map above. You'll see it shows most of the people diagnosed with HIV in NYC last year were in South Bronx and Central Brooklyn. It should come as no surprise that a new study released last week measured the overall health of each county, found that of the 62 counties in New York State, Brooklyn ranks 54 and the Bronx ranks dead last at 62.
Metro NY interviewed the lead author of the study, Kate Konkle of the University of Wisconsin, who reported "many different factors affect health, from individual decisions to smoke to not having access to high-quality health care and healthy food.
'Where we live matters to our health -- and when you look at these health factors, the Bronx is not doing as well as New York County in many of those areas,' Konkle said.
Some of this, she explained, can be attributed to socioeconomic factors: Unemployment in the Bronx is 12.8 percent, versus 8.6 percent in New York state. And 42 percent of children under the age of 18 there live in poverty, compared to 22 percent across the state."
Put another way, it's not the fault of poor people that they have worse health outcomes that others. It has to do with poverty, racism, and the lack of resources that people have to lead lives free of unnecessary illnesses.
During the same week this report was released, Housing Works re-launched its East New York Community Health Center, which will now provide comprehensive, integrated care to people in Central Brooklyn regardless of their HIV status.
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