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21st-Century HIV Testing & Data Sharing


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THE STATE OF OUR STATE IN HIV TESTING & DATA SHARING

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2014–2015 budget included measures aimed at expanding New York’s HIV testing law and modifying data sharing capabilities. These amendments were made to make it easier to identify HIV-positive New Yorkers unaware of their status and link those out of care back into care.

Written informed consent was eliminated from our HIV testing law, except in correctional facilities statewide. Previously New York was one of only two states that requiring written informed consent.

The surveillance data law was also updated to allow data collected by the Department of Health (DOH) to be shared between authorized DOH staff and medical providers to promote linkage and retention in care.

These changes were made as a first step in New York’s commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020. It is now easier to test people so that they know their status and we finally have the tools to identify those people that have fallen out of care and link them back into care.

WHERE WE STAND ON HIV TESTING & DATA SHARING

Housing Works advocates strongly for the expanded use of 21st-century testing and enhanced data sharing as a key pillar in the fight to achieve an AIDS-FREE New York by 2020, which will increase our ability to diagnose HIV early, get HIV-positive persons into care while they are still healthy, and help all those at risk of and already living with HIV benefit from new therapies.

HIV Testing & Data Sharing: Our Strategies

  • Expand use of and access to 21st-century surveillance and data-sharing tools, such as 4th-generation tests for simultaneous detection of HIV p24 antigen and antibodies to diagnose HIV infection and distinguish between acute and chronic infection.
  • Expand testing in non clinical venues targeting thos most at-risk, such as young MSMs of color, transgender woman, sex workers, and injection drug users (IDUs).
  • Tie all testing efforts to enrollment in health insurance and linkage to culturally appropriate primary care, irrespective of participation in testing, the testing venue, or test results.
  • Screen for HIV for all persons age 15–65, now a grade “A” recommendation of the independent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Roughly 50% of all Americans have never been tested for HIV, and about 14% of HIV-positive New Yorkers are unaware they are infected.

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