On World AIDS Day 2016, Governor Cuomo announced new commitments towards achieving New York’s goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic by the end of 2020.
On Monday, a groundbreaking Ending the Epidemic program bill was signed into effect which will streamline HIV testing and remove barriers to accessing treatment and prevention options for youth and those most at risk for HIV. Today, on World AIDS Day, Governor Cuomo also formally set the goal of achieving zero AIDS mortality, and zero HIV transmission through injection drug use. To achieve these goals, a “sentinel event response” will be launched, which has previously been successful in addressing mother-to-child HIV transmission. Other initiatives include requiring all service providers to track viral suppression rates of their clients, and expanding access to essential prevention options like PEP and PrEP for youth without requiring parental consent.
The Governor also called upon the federal government to authorize $45 million in Medicaid matching funds for ending the epidemic programs through an amendment to the Partnership Plan Waiver.
“Housing Works, along with its 70+ End AIDS NY 2020 coalition allies is pleased and grateful to recognize Governor Cuomo’s continued, bold leaderships toward achieving an end to the AIDS epidemic by 2020,” said Housing Works President and CEO Charles King. “With this series of new commitments, the Governor continues to get us even closer to realizing our vision. With federal health efforts entering an uncertain future, full community support for this kind of authentic process is especially crucial. Together New York will lead the charge and set an example for other states to follow.”
In June 2014, Governor Cuomo committed to end AIDS as an epidemic in New York by 2020 by reducing the number of annual new HIV infections to just 750 (from an estimated 3,000 at that time). This is possible with expanded access to testing and treatment, and prevention options like PEP and PrEP. Significant progress has already been made in towards achieving this goal: The most recent available data from 2014 puts the number of annual new HIV infections in New York State at below 2,500. This program bill will build on that progress by significantly improving access to testing and prevention options.