According to the New York Times, HIV infection rates for men under 30 who have sex with men in New York have increased by 32 percent in the last five years.

The new figures were released by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There was also an increase of 34 percent among all men of black and Hispanic origin.

This with infection rates of older gay men in the city dropping by 22 percent and overall infection rates declining.

Experts say that the cause is most likely linked to drug use among younger men which can lead to risky sexual practices.

Drugs like crystal methamphetamine reduce inhibitions and can lead to extended periods of sexual activity, often with more than one partner.

The city’s health commissioner, Thomas R. Frieden, also blamed “treatment optimism” – the perception that AIDS is an increasingly easily treatable condition.

“People who grew up watching their friends die of AIDS are a lot more careful than those who didn’t,” Dr. Frieden told the New York Times.

The newspaper further reports that the trend of higher infection rates among younger men is mirrored in the rest of the US.

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