By Jennifer H. Cunningham
The 10457 ZIP code in the Bronx — which includes Tremont, portions of Crotona, Belmont and Claremont — has the highest number of people afflicted by two of the following conditions: HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and tuberculosis, according to the Department of Health.
All seven diseases are epidemic in 10457, with infection rates for all conditions in the top 20% of cases citywide.
It’s not just a 10457 problem. In fact, the Bronx has the highest number of ZIP codes — 70% — where residents are in the top 20% for at least two diseases.
In Manhattan, 45% of ZIP codes have two-disease rates in the top 20%, compared to 25% of Queens ZIPs and 22% in Brooklyn.
“It’s very disturbing, especially for our community,” Tom Murray, director of community affairs for St. Barnabas Hospital and the chairman of Community Board 6’s Health and Human Services Committee.
“The teenagers are engaging in very risky behavior. They think AIDS is a thing of the past.”
***This is extremely troubling. I do not totally agree with Yolanda Smith’s statement that “The government needs to do something” though. The government has a role to supply the necessary $$ for sexual education of teens to help prevent the transmission of disease and for their protection. Ultimately, however it is a person’s responsibility to engage in safe and responsible sex. ~ SB***