This study assessed HIV seroprevalence in homicide victims killed in New York City in 1991–1993, using data from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. Among 5852 homicide victims there were 344 (5.9%) victims who were HIV positive. Females were just as likely as males to be HIV positive. For females, the highest rates were in the 25–34 year (11.7%) and 35–44 year (12.6%) age categories. For males the highest rates were in the 35–44 year (13.7%) and 45–54 year (11.5%) age categories. Other than there being no HIV positive Asian victims, there were no differences in HIV rates among racial/ethnic groups. The highest rates of HIV infection for homicide victims were among those using both opiates and cocaine (males: 23.0%; females: 27.3%). Women, not men, using cocaine alone had a high HIV positive rate (18.4%). Victims not using these drugs had rates of HIV around 2%. The authors believe that the high risk of HIV among homicide victims, may be due to the use of cocaine and associated risky use of needles and risky sex practices.
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