For the first time since the HIV epidemic took root in New York City in the 1980's, AIDS has dropped out of the top 10 causes of death in the city, the city’s health commissioner said last week.
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Speaking at a City Council meeting on Thursday, Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said that AIDS had been the number nine killer in 2011 causing 766 deaths, according to the Daily News. That number dropped to 609 in 2012.
Bassett attributed the decline to better outreach and treatment.
"‘It’s a tribute to the efforts that have been made… in tackling this epidemic," she said. "We are seeing some success."
Nearly 131,000 people were living with HIV or AIDS in the state of New York in 2011, according to the latestNew York State HIV/AIDS Surveillance Annual Report. About 79 percent of those people resided in New York City.
The city's leading cause of death in 2012 was heart disease, followed by cancer and the flu.