Thomas Farley, commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, said the increase “is something that definitely has us concerned.”
The overall number of new HIV cases has been on a steady decline since the mid-2000s. Currently, 19,199 Philadelphians are living with HIV. In 2017 there were 419 newly diagnosed HIV infections, according to the health department.
But from 2016 to 2018, the number of new diagnoses reported in people who inject drugs has nearly doubled to 59, a number that is sure to rise when all the data are finalized, said James Garrow, spokesperson for the Department of Public Health.
By Mari Schaefer