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HIV/AIDS

  • General Information
    • 1-800-541-AIDS
    • 1-800-233-7432 Spanish
  • AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)
    • 1-800-542-2437
  • HIV Confidentiality Hotline
    • 1-800-962-5065

CEI Program & Services for clinicians

  • (315) 477-8479 or visit www.ceitraining.org
    • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline (PEP Line)
      • 1-866-637-2342
  • HIV/Hepatitis C
    • 1-866-637-2342
  • STDs
    • 1-866-637-2342

Prevention and Support Services

Positive Pathways

The Positive Pathways Project is an innovative public health initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Activities have been launched in 16 correctional facilities across NYS and seek to identify new and existing HIV positive individuals in the correctional setting, link these individuals to medical care for HIV during incarceration and ensure continued linkage to medical care for HIV upon and after release to the community.  The goals of the Positive Pathways Project are to:

  • Reduce the stigma associated with being HIV positive in the correctional setting;
  • Identify new and existing HIV positive persons in the inmate population;
  • Encourage HIV positive inmates to link to medical care/treatment for HIV during incarceration;
  • Link HIV positive releasees to medical care for HIV and supportive services in the community upon and after release; and,
  • Sustain releasees in medical care for HIV for six months post-release.

Positive Pathways supports 5 community based agencies to provide in-facility and post-facility interventions and services.  In addition, DOH staff work collaboratively with DOCCS staff to achieve project goals.  Six distinct strategies are employed to achieve the goals outlined above:

  • Education and training of DOCCS Correction Officers;
  • Education and training of DOCCS Health Services staff;
  • Education of the general inmate population;
  • Delivery of an evidence-based intervention to connect inmates diagnosed with HIV to medical care;
  • Systematic offer of HIV test to inmates with no testing history known to DOCCS within 90 days of release date; and,
  • Supportive services in the community to ensure linkage to and continuation of medical care and treatment for HIV upon and after release for a period of 6 months.

Contact:

Heidi Reukauf
Positive Pathways Coordinator
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(518) 402-5701
heidi.reukauf@health.ny.gov

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Criminal Justice Initiative

The Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) was developed in response to the emerging prevention and service needs of HIV infected and at risk detainees, inmates and formerly incarcerated individuals in New York State.

The goal is to implement a combination of prevention interventions and support services that seek to decrease the spread of HIV/STD/HCV and that meets priority needs of HIV infected and at risk criminal justice populations including:

  • Identify new infections and ensure connection to medical care and appropriate linkage to partner services;
  • Provide activities designed to train peers to deliver HIV/STD/HCV related information;
  • Address the unique needs and challenges of incarcerated women as well as women re-entering the community;
  • Provide mechanisms that strengthens the capacity of HIV positive individuals exiting NYS correctional facilities to achieve successful community re-entry with a focus on addressing barriers to re-entry and services that facilitate maintaining/achieving positive medical outcomes; and
  • Reduce HIV/STD and hepatitis related risk behaviors post release by using a client centered step by step approach to service delivery.

Funded interventions and services are designed to increase early identification of HIV infection via targeted HIV Testing for high risk incarcerated individuals; diminish HIV transmission; and improve the health and well-being of individuals living with HIV and AIDS.  All interventions funded, which also include peer training and support, effective behavioral interventions, transitional planning and community reentry services, recognize that addressing the HIV, STD and HCV related prevention and support needs of incarcerated individuals from admission through the months following release is central to successful disease prevention and care.

CJI contractor services are a compliment to the long-standing collaboration between the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and the New York State Department of Health (DOH). This strong collaboration allows for the targeted distribution of Health Resource Portfolios and Work Release Packets containing HIV/STD/HCV prevention information and male and female condoms that are provided to inmates as they leave correctional facilities.

In NYS correctional facilities, the CJI also supports the Prison HIV Hotline. This hotline offers State inmates the opportunity to call collect for HIV/STD/HCV information and counseling. The hotline is also a clearinghouse for HIV/STD/HCV-related information and provides transitional planning and referral services for HIV positive inmates upon release.

The New York State Department of Health, through the AIDS Institute, also receives a sub-allocation in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Children and Family Services. This sub-allocation is used for HIV prevention education of youth engaged in care, coordination of care for HIV infected youth and HIV training programs for agency staff and support for overall HIV testing efforts.

Contact:

Bethsabet de León Justiniano
Director, Bureau of Community Based Services
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(518) 486-1412
bethsabet.deleonjustiniano@health.ny.gov

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Transgender

In 2012 funding for the Comprehensive HIV/STD/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Transgender Individuals was established.  The initiative was formed in order to ensure dedicated funding for the transgender community apart from overall LGBT funding, in recognition that transgender individuals have distinct prevention needs.

Transgender is a broad term for individuals whose gender identity and expression does not conform to norms and expectations traditionally associated with their sex assigned at birth.  The transgender community is not homogenous.  While some transgender persons seek physical transformation through the use of hormones, sex re-assignment surgery or cosmetic procedures, others pursue masculine or feminine gender expression solely through behavior or self-presentation. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or none of the above. 

The funding supports programs that provide a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention and related services for high risk and HIV infected transgender individuals.  The various program models acknowledge the social isolation and multiple needs of high risk and HIV infected transgender individuals and ensure their access to a comprehensive array of services that addresses their prevention, health care and support needs. 

The goals and objectives of the initiative are to:

  • Provide effective evidenced based prevention interventions intended to keep transgender individuals from acquiring and transmitting HIV/STD/HCV;
  • Develop and implement strategies to address societal norms that impede HIV/STD/HCV prevention efforts for transgender individuals;
  • Provide comprehensive sexual health risk reduction services to transgender individuals;
  • Identify transgender individuals who are at high risk for HIV/STD/HCV and unaware of their status and connect them to testing, comprehensive health care and prevention services;
  • Provide ongoing HIV prevention services to transgender individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS to reduce the transmission of HIV and maintain optimal health; and
  • Provide mental health and alcohol/substance use related services to transgender individuals to address underlying causes for high risk behavior and to support the health and wellness of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

The scope of services include targeted outreach and client recruitment, HIV/STD/HCV counseling and testing, referral to and partner services, direct connection/linkage to health care and other prevention services, health education and risk reduction prevention interventions and activities, mental health and substance use/alcohol related services.

Contact:

Maxine Phillips
Director, Harm Reduction Unit
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(212) 417-4661
maxine.phillips@health.ny.gov

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Men Who have Sex with Men (MSM)

Gay men and Men who have sex with Men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, making up nearly two thirds of new diagnosis. Persons of color are over represented amongst MSM with HIV/AIDS, with Blacks and Hispanics accounting for nearly two-thirds of all MSM related HIV diagnosis.  Young gay men/MSM also account for increasing proportions of the new infections in NYS.

It is recognized that community driven prevention efforts, including the availability of risk reduction interventions and newer biomedical approaches and treatment as prevention for HIV is important for this population. 

Funding for comprehensive HIV/STD/HCV prevention and related services for gay men/MSM, particularly young gay men/MSM of color supports programs that provide a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention and related service for at risk and infected MSM.  The overall goals of the initiative are to: prevent new HIV/STD/HCV infections; increase the number of Gay Men/MSM who know their HIV/STD/HCV status; increase HIV/STD/HCV testing and screening services; identify HIV/STD/HCV infected individuals and ensure their access to early, high quality health care and prevention services; and facilitate access to mental health alcohol/substance use related services.

Additional funding also supports community based HIV/STD Prevention and Linkages to Health Care and Related Services for Young Gay Men/Men of Color who have sex with Men.  Funding supports community based organizations that serve young Gay Men/MSM of color (ages 16 to 24).
The objectives of the initiative are to:

  • Identify young Gay Men/MSM of color (ages 16-24) who are at risk for HIV infection and/or STDs, or who are HIV/STD infected and unaware of their status, and to connect them to testing, comprehensive healthcare and supportive services.
  • Educate young Gay Men/MSM of color (ages 16-24) who are infected with HIV and/or STDs about the benefits of early continuous care in maintaining their own health and in reducing further HIV/STD transmission, and by providing mental health and substance use/alcohol services to those at risk and infected.
  • Provide effective evidenced-based prevention interventions intended to keep young Gay Men/MSM of color (ages 16-24) from acquiring and transmitting HIV and STDs.

Funded programs utilize multiple approaches to reach the population including youth development, harm reduction and health and wellness.

The scope of services for MSM programming include targeted outreach for case finding, direct provision or easy access to integrated STD/HIV/HCV counseling and testing, partner services, direct connection to health care, prevention and other service, health education /risk reduction prevention interventions and activities, mental health and alcohol/substance use related service

Contact:

Maxine Phillips
Director, Harm Reduction Unit
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(212) 417-4661
maxine.phillips@health.ny.gov

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Heterosexual Men and Women

Funding supports programs that provide a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention and related services for high risk and HIV infected heterosexually-identified men and women, particularly persons of color.

The overall goals of the initiative are to: reduce disease incidence, decrease the rate of HIV/STD/HCV transmission, decrease risky sexual and drug using behaviors among HIV positive and persons at high risk for acquiring HIV, increase the proportion of HIV/STD/HCV infected individuals who are aware of their status, and increase the proportion of HIV/STD infected persons who are linked to prevention, partner services, and treatment and increase the proportion of HIV infected persons who are retained in care and achieve viral load suppression.

Interventions and activities provided by funded agencies seek to decrease the spread of HIV/STD/HCV through the provision of interventions and services that:

  • Expand targeted efforts to prevent HIV infection using a combination of effective, evidence-based approaches;
  • Educate and raise awareness about HIV related issues including prevention, transmission, health disparities, and stigma/discrimination;
  • Integrate HIV, STD and HCV testing/screening or referrals and prevention education within HIV programs; and
  • Support HIV positive and high risk individuals at all stages of care to facilitate the provision of medical treatment and care, biomedical and/or behavioral change prevention services.

The scope of services include:

  • Targeted outreach in settings where high risk and HIV positive heterosexually identified men and women live, work and socialize in order to deliver information/materials and link them to prevention interventions;
  • HIV/STD/HCV Counseling and Testing, Referral and Partner Services for the provision of testing, referral and partner services activities to heterosexually identified men and women who are at high risk of HIV and STD/HCV who are unaware of their status with a focus on diagnosing new cases and connecting them to appropriate prevention, care and treatment services;
  • Health Education/Risk Reduction Prevention Interventions and Activities for the provision of evidenced based models and risk reduction strategies to build protective skills, promote prevention behaviors and support long term behavior change for high risk and HIV positive heterosexually-identified men and women, particularly persons of color.  Interventions include individual and group interventions; and
  • Mental health and alcohol/substance use related services for the direct provision or linkage to mental health services that address underlying cause of high risk behaviors, such as a history of sexual assault, physical or mental abuse or other trauma.

Contact:

Bethsabet de León Justiniano
Director, Bureau of Community Based Services
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(518) 486-1412
bethsabet.deleonjustiniano@health.ny.gov

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Young People

The primary goal of the HIV/STI Prevention Services for Young People Initiative – Sexual Health  Promotion for Young People through Youth Leadership and Community Engagement (SHPYL) -  is to reduce HIV infection, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies among youth in New York State (ages 13-24) by creating communities that support and promote optimal sexual health for young people. Programs funded through this initiative build on their target community’s assets and strengths to create an environment that promotes and supports the sexual health and comprehensive well-being of its youth.

Funded programs are expected to reduce STIs, HIV infection and unintended pregnancy among youth by fostering communities that support and provide comprehensive sexual health and risk reduction education and services, and other related services to young people. Programs use youth leaders, who in strong partnership with adults, work to address and change the environment in their communities that increases young people’s risk for STIs, HIV infection and unintended pregnancy. 

Programs use a positive youth development approach in all aspects of these programs by focusing on positive outcomes; building on the strengths and assets of young people and communities; and viewing young people as valuable resources, contributors and leaders.  Programs create and foster youth and adults in partnership to achieve the initiative’s goals; provide young people with meaningful decision-making roles; collaborate with all segments of a community to contribute to the well-being of young people; and recognize the importance of on-going, positive opportunities and relationships to help young people succeed as adults.

Programs funded under this initiative provide services and implement strategies to achieve outcomes among the populations identified at-risk and in the targeted community. These outcomes are related to young people trained as program leaders; young people in the community; parents, family members and other adults; an increased awareness of and support in the community for promoting optimal sexual health to include education about comprehensive sexual health and HIV/STI /unintended pregnancy risk reduction; and increased access to youth –friendly sexual health services (e.g. HIV counseling and testing, STI screening, testing and treatment, reproductive health care).

School-based HIV Prevention Education

The AIDS Institute and the New York State Education Department, through a memorandum of understanding, collaborate to accomplish the following activities:

  • Provide training opportunities and follow-up technical assistance for education professionals, including those who work with adolescents, elementary school children, and special populations  including incarcerated youth, youth in alternative situations, special education youth, sexual minority youth, (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth) and pregnant and parenting youth;
  • Establish a system for continual review of HIV/AIDS prevention education materials;
  • Provide training opportunities that develop and enhance partnerships with traditional and non-traditional partners to promote effective policies and programming, i.e. community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, higher education, school nurses, and school boards of education;
  • Develop and market strategies to develop and promote healthy youth development norms using youth development, supportive learning environments and coordinated school health approaches; and
  • Design and/or identify effective training models, modules, and agendas for HIV and STI prevention and HIV/STI-related education within a youth development framework.

Contact:

Lillian Lee
Director, Women and Youth HIV/STD Prevention Services
Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(212) 417-4696
lilian.lee@health.ny.gov

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Women

Women are in need of comprehensive services to access a full range of clinical, mental, health and social services which will improve their well-being and the overall quality of life for them and their families.

Funding to support HIV/STD prevention services for women is awarded to contractors located throughout the State, including community-based organizations, hospitals, and community health centers. The target populations for the initiative are women, particularly women of color who are at high risk for HIV and/or STD infection and women who are already infected. The largest group of women affected by HIV and AIDS are low income women, women of color and women who are marginalized in society. Heterosexual contact and injection drug use are the most frequently reported HIV transmission categories among women living with HIV/AIDS in NYS. These women frequently have unstable housing, poor nutrition, sexually transmitted infections, a history of problematic alcohol and other substance use, and mental health issues.

The Women's Services Unit provides program oversight, contract management, and technical assistance to the providers participating in this initiative. Agencies selected to participate in this initiative are required to develop or enhance comprehensive HIV/STD prevention and support programs for women, their partners and families.

The key components/service areas of this initiative include:  HIV/STD  counseling and testing in clinical, community-based, and outreach settings; targeted and enhanced outreach to recruit and engage at-risk and HIV/STD  infected women who are not engaged in ongoing prevention, care and/or supportive services; multi-session individual and group behavioral interventions targeted to women at-risk and women living with HIV/STD to minimize future transmission or acquisition of HIV/STDs; strong referrals, linkages and follow-up to comprehensive care and services for both at-risk and women identified as HIV/STD infected.

Programs funded to provide HIV/STD prevention services for women through this initiative will:

  • Reduce HIV and STD among women who are at high risk for these infections through innovative services. These services include prevention interventions that help women initiate and sustain behavior change over time and reduce the risk of HIV/STD  transmission or acquisition;
  • Provide information about the benefits of knowing one’s HIV/STD status and make testing more accessible by using rapid testing technology. Testing is complemented by comprehensive care and supportive services for HIV/STD -infected individuals;
  • Promote improved understanding among women regarding the role of STDs  in HIV transmission;
  • Improve direct access to STD screening and treatment;
  • Increase the proportion of HIV/STD infected persons who are linked to partner services, treatment/medical care, and increase the proportion of HIV infected persons who are retained in care and achieve viral load suppression.  These services include prevention interventions that help women initiate and sustain behavior change over time to engage and retain in medical care; and
Improve the quality of life for women at high risk for HIV and STDs through a comprehensive prevention approach. This may include addressing the following: violence and trauma; mental health; alcohol and other substance use; access to health care; and partner engagement in the prevention of HIV and STDs.

Contact:

Lillian Lee
Director, Women and Youth HIV/STD Prevention Services
Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(212) 417-4696
lilian.lee@health.ny.gov

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Lesbians/Women who have Sex with Women

In 2012 funding for the Comprehensive HIV/STD/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Lesbians/Women who have sex with Women (WSW) was established.  The initiative was formed in order to ensure dedicated funding for lesbians/WSW apart from the overall LGBT funding, in recognition that lesbians/WSW have distinct prevention needs.

While rare, the potential for female-to-female sexual transmission of HIV exists. It is also important to acknowledge that sexual identity is not always predictive of sexual behavior.  lesbians/WSW may also have sex with men, either by choice, or they may be victims of violence.  Poverty can also increase HIV/STD/HCV risks such as exchanging sex for money, drugs or shelter.  Abuse and violence can reduce a women’s ability to negotiate safer sex and choose her partners.  Injection drug use or unprotected sex with injection drug users are other important routes of transmission to be considered among lesbians/WSW. 

The funding supports programs that provide a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention and related services for high risk and HIV infected lesbians/WSW.  The various program models acknowledge the multiple needs of high risk and HIV infected lesbians/WSW and ensures their access to a comprehensive array of services that addresses their prevention, health care and support needs.  The initiative aims to increase access to high quality HIV/STD/HCV prevention and related services to lesbians/WSW, particularly among communities of color.

The goals and objectives of the initiative are to:

  • Provide effective evidenced based prevention interventions intended to keep lesbians/WSW from acquiring and transmitting HIV/STD/HCV;
  • Develop and implement strategies to address societal norms that impede HIV/STD/HCV prevention efforts for lesbians/WSW;
  • Provide comprehensive sexual health risk reduction services to lesbians/WSW;
  • Identify lesbians/WSW who are at high risk for HIV/STD/HCV and unaware of their status and connect them to testing, comprehensive health care and prevention services;
  • Provide ongoing HIV prevention services to lesbians/WSW who are living with HIV/AIDS to reduce the transmission of HIV and maintain optimal health; and
  • Provide mental health and alcohol/substance use related services to lesbians/WSW to address underlying causes for high risk behavior and to support the health and wellness of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

The scope of services include targeted outreach and client recruitment, HIV/STD/HCV counseling and testing, referral to and partner services, direct connection/linkage to health care and other prevention services, health education and risk reduction prevention interventions and activities, mental health and substance use/alcohol related services.

Contact:

Lilian Lee
Director, Women and Youth HIV/STD Prevention Services
Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(212) 417-4696
lilian.lee@health.ny.gov

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STD Screening and Safety Net Populations

In New York State, local health  departments, family planning clinics and community health centers are established providers of safety net services, including STD screening and treatment, for uninsured and underinsured persons as well as other high priority populations.  In 2013, these agencies accounted for 16%, 15% and 11% respectively, of reported STD cases.  The Bureau of STD Prevention and Epidemiology (BSTDPE) works closely with local health departments, particularly those in high morbidity counties, to ensure appropriate services are provided as required by statute and regulation. 

Recent legislation permits health departments to bill patients and third party insurers for STD services, while requiring no patient be turned away based on willingness to provide insurance information.  The Bureau has developed forthcoming regulations and guidance documents to support local health departments who plan to implement a billable service model.

BSTDPE currently supports STD screening in selected safety net provider sites through contractual support of laboratory providers, thereby reducing the cost of services to the clinical provider and patient. In 2013, agencies conducted over 46,000 tests through this mechanism.  These agencies typically serve uninsured and underinsured individuals and higher risk individuals such as adolescent and young adult females.

BSTDPE works with AI and other DOH partners to identify gaps in services to safety net populations, based on data available through the Division of Family Health’s Family Planning screening data (which includes insurance status) and AIRS client screening data.  Additionally, the Bureau’s two community mobilization contracts are required to link or refer eligible clients to the NYS health insurance marketplace as appropriate.

Contact:

Alison Muse
Director
Bureau of STD Prevention and Epidemiology
(518) 474-3598
alison.muse@health.ny.gov

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