Cuomo Announces New HIV Infections Are Down to Record Lows
Yesterday on World AIDS Day, Governor Cuomo announced that New York is on track to "End the Epidemic" by the end of 2020.
Cuomo said the number of new infections has dropped significantly, even to historically low levels. Even those who have gotten the diagnosis are being connected with proper care sooner, which is crucial in improving the health of people living with the infection and preventing transmission to another person.
"When we started this aggressive and historic campaign to End the Epidemic, we also made a commitment to help ensure every person living with HIV or AIDS gets the support they need," Governor Cuomo said in a press release. "These record low levels of estimated new HIV infections and other key metrics — including new data showing we are connecting people to care sooner — demonstrate once again that while our work is not done, we are making important progress toward bending the curve on an epidemic that has taken the lives of too many people for too long."
Cuomo's "Ending the Epidemic" began in 2014 as an effort to significantly decrease the number of people who are diagnosed with HIV every year. While the literal end of the epidemic would require a cure and a vaccine, Cuomo has been pushing for a dip in new cases, which has happened for the first time in history.
According to the press release, 2018 data shows that statewide new cases fell to an all-time low of 2,019 and there has been a 40 percent decrease throughout the whole time the ETE initiative has been in place. More people are now being tested for HIV, and the average number of deaths among those with HIV in New York is 13 percent lower than before ETE. 82 percent of New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV are connected with care within 30 days of their diagnosis, which then gives them greater access to healthcare options and treatment.
Healthcare professionals have recognized New York's all-time low of new HIV cases as an all-time high.
"The progress we've outlined today is a true testament to the hard work and leadership of this state and this community," New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said in the press release. "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, we have not only reduced new diagnoses but also improved the health of those living with HIV/AIDS."
New York State has allocated $20 million to the work of the initiative annually since 2015. It has spent an estimated $2.2 billion to increase access to healthcare and HIV treatment.