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Governor Cuomo expanding plan against AIDS in New York

Staff writer |
In recognition of World AIDS Day, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo made a series of announcements regarding the next phase of New York State’s Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic in the State.

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New York State is directing more than $2.5 billion annually to fight against the disease.

“New York was once the epicenter of the AIDS crisis – but now we are showing the nation how to fight back and make this epidemic a thing of the past,” said Governor Cuomo.

“We are making rapid progress toward a future where more people know their status, medication is easily accessible, and new cases are more and more rare. As we mark World AIDS Day, we remember all those we have lost, and we recommit ourselves to ending this epidemic once and for all.”

The Governor is committing $200 million in new funding toward HIV/AIDS efforts, which is in addition to the $2.5 billion in public funding that the state currently directs toward addressing the disease.

He is also calling on the federal government to increase its contribution nationwide for housing assistance for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Funding from the federal government on housing assistance for people living with HIV nationwide has remained effectively stagnant for more than 5 years at less than $300 million annually, and renewed support from Washington is vital to maintaining the progress that has been achieved thus far in addressing the epidemic.

Further, the Governor announced that in addition to the billions of dollars the State directs to HIV/AIDS efforts, New York State will make additional financial and programmatic commitments to ensure that New York State Ends AIDS by 2020, including:

expanding the availability of affordable housing and providing additional housing assistance for those living with HIV;

making life insurance available to individuals between the ages of 30 and 60 living with HIV;

investing more funding into Medicaid Managed Care Plans;

investing more funding to help enhance services at “One Stop” STD clinics in New York City.

In addition to these items, the Governor plans to outline other components to the State's plan to End AIDS in the Governor's State of the State address and executive budget early next year.

Further, the Governor announced that the State has made great strides toward his goal to End AIDS by 2020. No new cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV have been reported since August of 2014, the first time there have been no new cases over a twelve-month period since the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic.

Additionally, New York State has been recognized as a national leader in the effort to increase availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) a medication that helps HIV-negative individuals reduce their risk of becoming infected. Since June 2014, there has been over a 300 percent increase in PrEP use among Medicaid enrollees.

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