US: New York Governor announces new HIV task force
The Governor of New York has announced the creation of a new HIV task force, aiming to wipe out HIV in the state entirely.
Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the “Bending the Curve” initiative, which will formulate a renewed push against HIV.
He said: “Thirty years ago, New York was the epicenter of the AIDS crisis – today I am proud to announce that we are in a position to be the first state in the nation committed to ending this epidemic.
“New York State has reached an important milestone in controlling the AIDS epidemic, and through this comprehensive strategy, we are decreasing new HIV infections to the point where by 2020, the number of persons living with HIV in New York State will be reduced for the first time.”
The three-point plan aims to help diagnose people who do not know they have HIV, provide access to health care for people who do, and to promote Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to people who engage in risky behaviours.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by up to 90%, if preventative drugs such as Truvada are taken consistently, but the practice has divided HIV campaigners.
The initiative is aiming to reduce the number of HIV infections in New York per year from its current level of 3000 to 750 by 2020.
Benjamin Bashein, acting executive director of the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America said: “Although there are more New Yorkers living with HIV than in any other state in the nation, it is within our reach to end the epidemic that has plagued us for more than 30 years.
“There is still no cure at hand, but we now have the knowledge and means to dramatically reduce new HIV infections and promote optimal health for those with HIV.
“Governor Cuomo’s leadership will help our vision become a reality and make New York a model for ending AIDS across the country and around the globe.”