Joana Casas, Program Communications Manager
E: email@example.com P: (212) 806-1602
NEW YORK, June 30, 2014—amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Monday welcomed New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to drastically reduce HIV/AIDS cases and effectively end the AIDS epidemic in New York state by 2020. The plan, which includes identifying those who do not know they are infected and linking them to HIV testing and care, tracking those who are infected, and ensuring access to treatment, represents a pivotal moment in the state’s history since the first cases of AIDS were reported in New York City by the Centers for Disease Control in 1981.
New York has long been an epicenter for HIV/AIDS, and has one of the largest populations of people living with the disease—more than 131,000 people in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—in the United States.
“We are pleased that Governor Cuomo has announced this ambitious goal to end the HIV epidemic in New York by 2020,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “We believe that this aggressive approach, coupled with the necessary investments and commitment from leaders like Governor Cuomo, could be a model for the rest of the nation to follow in order to achieve an AIDS-free generation in our country.”
The plan builds on existing policies already in place in New York to reduce HIV infections and providing access to proper treatment and care. It would include implementing new testing protocols to make it easier to get tested, such as wider use of at-home HIV tests, and changing how HIV cases are tracked to ensure patients continue to receive treatment.
To bring down the cost of treatment and expand access to it, the Cuomo administration has negotiated bulk rebates with three companies producing HIV drugs. The plan will also include outreach to communities at high risk of HIV/AIDS and provide access to Truvada, a "pre-exposure" (PrEP) drug that can help prevent the disease.
For more than 20 years, amfAR has played an important role in preventing the spread of HIV among injection drug users in New York, administering the distribution of harm reduction supplies to the state’s 17 authorized syringe exchange programs. As a result, HIV prevalence among this population has dropped from a peak of 50 percent in the early 1990s almost to zero.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $388 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 3,300 research teams worldwide. For more information, please visit www.amfar.org.