New York Has a Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic
Let's End the Epidemic Together!
New York has a three-point plan to end the AIDS epidemic in NY. We are the first state in the nation, and the first jurisdiction in the world, to have a plan to end the epidemic.
The plan includes:
- Expanding HIV testing so everyone knows their HIV status;
- Helping everyone with HIV get treatment to stay healthy and prevent transmission to others; and
- Expanding access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent new infections.
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has affected people in every county. It affects young people and old, women and men, people of all nationalities, colors and sexual preferences.
New York has already made great progress toward ending the epidemic. Some of our accomplishments include:
- Eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission in 2013; Reducing new infections among drug users by 96% over the past 10 years; and
- Reducing new infections overall by almost 40% since 2004.
Every New Yorker can play a role in ending the epidemic. Here are some ideas about how you can get involved:
- ✔ Talk to your doctor about getting an HIV test.
- ✔ Practice safer sex if you have more than one sexual partner, or you don't know your partner's HIV status.
- ✔ If you have HIV, get treatment to stay healthy and prevent transmission to others.
- ✔ Encourage friends or family members who may be living with HIV to stay in health care and take their medications.
- ✔ Talk to your children about HIV prevention.
- ✔ Take a stand against HIV stigma.
- ✔ Take a leadership role in your community by explaining to others the importance of HIV prevention.
The links on this page offer more information about New York's plan. You can also get your questions answered, and access more information, by calling the AIDS hotline at 1-800-541-2437 (English) or 1-800-233-7432 (Spanish).
With testing you can learn your HIV status and learn how to avoid passing the virus to others. Be an important part of the plan to END THE AIDS EPIDEMIC IN NEW YORK STATE.
Who Should Get Tested?
Everyone should know their HIV status. Health care providers are required to offer HIV testing as part of routine health care services to everyone ages 13 – 64.
People at risk of HIV infection include those who:
- Have multiple sex partners
- Have sex with a person living with HIV
- Have ever had a sexually transmitted disease
- Have ever injected drugs
How Does HIV Testing Work?
There are different types of HIV tests. Some involve drawing your blood, while others involve pricking your finger or swabbing your mouth to get fluid. Some tests are "rapid tests" and the results are ready in 20 minutes. A person is told that he or she has HIV infection only if the test result is confirmed by a second, or sometimes a third test. HIV test results are confidential.
Where Can I Get Tested?
Talk to your doctor about having an HIV test. To access free HIV testing, or testing where you do not have to give your name, call 1-800-541-AIDS (English) or 1-800-233-SIDA (Spanish).
What if I Find Out I Have HIV?
Your health care provider will arrange for HIV treatment for you. In New York State, there are many resources to ensure that people with HIV can afford health care and HIV medications. Clinical guidelines suggest that all people with HIV begin treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment will prevent the virus from damaging your health and will help keep you healthy.
You will receive information about how to avoid passing the virus to others.
Attending regular HIV care appointments, and adhering to HIV treatment, help promote health for people with HIV. They also reduce the chance that HIV will be passed to others. By taking your HIV treatment, or supporting a friend or family member in getting HIV care, you play an important role in New York's Plan to End the Epidemic.
How Do HIV Care and Treatment Work?
HIV treatment is referred to as Antiretroviral Treatment (ART). ART brings down the amount of HIV in your body. It also stops the virus from reproducing. Keeping the virus at a very low level prevents damage to your immune system, or allows damage to be reversed. HIV treatment can prevent HIV from progressing.
Today, HIV treatment is:
- Highly Effective: Many patients can achieve viral suppression within four months of starting treatment, if they take the medication as prescribed.
- Easy to Take: For many patients, HIV treatment is as simple as taking one pill a day.
- Easy to Tolerate: Side effects are minimal. If present, they can easily be managed.
How Often Should a Person With HIV See a Medical Provider?
Everyone living with HIV should have an initial medical workup. It should include: a physical exam, laboratory testing, treatment adherence counseling, preventive screenings, and referral to other supportive services. Early in care, you should have an appointment at least every four months. Appointments may be more frequent if you have symptoms or you haven't achieved viral suppression. Once you are virally suppressed and have no symptoms, you should see your health care provider every four to six months.
How Can I Access HIV Treatment and Support Services?
HIV testing is the only way to know if you have HIV. If you test positive, your health care provider will arrange an appointment for your HIV care. Were you in care and stopped? If so, contact the provider you saw in the past. Or, find a new provider in the AIDS Institute's HIV Regional Resource Directory. If you do not have health coverage, help is available. Call HIV Uninsured Care Programs at 1-800-542-2437.
HIV infection can be avoided by:
- not sharing drug-injection equipment (needle, syringe, cooker, cotton, etc.) and,
- having only one monogamous sex partner whose HIV status is known to be negative. If you have sex with more than one partner, consistent and correct use of condoms every time you have sex can prevent HIV infection. If you do not always practice safer sex or injecting practices, PrEP may be an option for you.
If you do not always use condoms or practice safe injecting, PrEP can prevent you from becoming infected. By taking PrEP you will be Part of New York's Plan to End the Epidemic.
PrEP by the Numbers:
- Taking one PrEP pill, once a day, is very effective at preventing a person from becoming infected with HIV.
- By expanding access to PrEP, New York State could reach the goal of reducing the number of new infections to fewer than 750 per year by 2020.
Who Can Benefit from PrEP?
PrEP is one of many options for preventing HIV infection.
PrEP may be a smart choice if you:
- Are a gay man or trans-woman who has unprotected anal intercourse;
- Are in a sexual relationship with a partner who has HIV;
- Are a trans-person who has unprotected anal or vaginal sex;
- Sometimes trade sex for money, drugs or housing;
- Inject drugs or share injection equipment;
- Use stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine and have unprotected sex;
- Have had more than one STD in the last year; or,
- Have taken HIV post-exposure prophylaxis more than twice in the last year.
How Does PrEP Work?
The six-point PrEP program for people who are HIV negative includes:
- Regular HIV testing;
- Taking one Truvada™ pill, once a day, every day, for a specific period of time;
- Using condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs);
- Periodic screening for STDs;
- Education about how to reduce the risk of getting HIV and STDs through sex; and,
- Counseling and support for taking the medication regularly (adherence).
Where Can I Get PrEP and will I be able to afford it?
You may be able to get PrEP from your doctor. To find a health care provider that prescribes PrEP, and to access other resources, including options for payment, visit www.health.ny.gov/PrEP