ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The percentage of New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV who are also vaccinated for COVID-19 is less than the general population, according to a study released by the New York State Department of Health (DOH). They said there’s even more of a disparity among people diagnosed with HIV that did not receive medical treatment for the virus in 2020.

Between Mar. 1, 2020, and Oct. 24, 2021, the study discovered that 63.5% of people living with diagnosed HIV (PLWDH) had been vaccinated, compared to 75% of the general population. The study also discovered 69.2% of PLWDH receiving medical care were vaccinated compared to 29.1% of PLWDH who were not.

“People living with HIV have long faced barriers in meeting their health care needs, and our study shows this disadvantage extends to COVID-19 vaccination,” said DOH Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “We will continue to work together to encourage all New Yorkers to get vaccinated and boosted when eligible to prevent serious outcomes from COVID-19.”

Individuals in Black and Hispanic communities make up the majority of PLWDH in New York. They were more likely to catch COVID and have serious outcomes than PLWDH in non-Hispanic and White communities, the DOH said. The study found Black and Hispanic PLWDH had lower rates of vaccination 58.6% compared to 70.8% in non-Hispanic and White PLWDH.

“Vaccination remains the best tool we have to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy,” said New York City Health Commissioner, Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “We know that people living with HIV are at higher risk for severe outcomes and we must continue to do all we can to prevent needless suffering and death.”

The DOH worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute on the study. Results were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.