Modified: November 28, 2016 11:08am
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date November 28, 2016
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
ECDOH Recognizes World AIDS Day
Number of HIV Infections Continues to Rise Despite Treatment Advances
ERIE COUNTY, NY— December 1st is World AIDS Day, an annual opportunity to bring wide attention that the HIV epidemic is still an ongoing public health crisis. “We all may have friends, relatives and neighbors battling this disease. As a community, we need to continue our efforts in research, education and treatment to finally end this crisis,” states Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health (“ECDOH”).
“Despite advances in HIV treatment, there continues to be an increase in HIV infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) estimates of the approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV, that 1 in 7 (14%) do not know they are infected. These individuals may unknowingly spread the virus to others. Also disturbing is that 1 out of 4 new HIV infections are among adolescents and young adults (13-24 years old),” said Burstein.
These statistics support the need for routine HIV testing for everyone, to identify and link persons with HIV to care so that they can live longer lives. New treatment is available to prevent HIV infection, indeed--concerns and issues are emerging among persons aging with HIV infection.
Burstein concluded: “We encourage everyone to follow these essential steps to help “end the epidemic”:
ü Get an HIV test.
ü Practice safer sex if you have more than one sexual partner, or if you do not know your partner's HIV status.
ü If you are HIV negative and at higher risk for getting HIV, consider taking PrEP (one pill, once a day).
ü If you have HIV, get treatment to stay healthy and prevent transmission to others.
ü Encourage friends or family members who may be living with HIV to stay in health care and take their medications.
ü Talk to your children about HIV prevention.
ü Take a stand against HIV stigma.
ü Take a leadership role in your community by explaining to others the importance of HIV prevention.
New York State continues its landmark effort to End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic by the year 2020. Erie County’s Ending the Epidemic (“EtE”) Steering Committee, a collaboration of community leaders, health care providers, consumers and concerned citizens, is a key component in the western region of New York State in moving this initiative forward.
The Ending the Epidemic Three-Point Plan:
- Identify persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and link them to health care.
- Ensure and support persons with HIV remain in care to maximize virus suppression and prevent further transmission.
- Keep people HIV negative by providing access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
The Erie County Department of Health, Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic (608 William Street, Buffalo, NY 14206) provides confidential HIV screening, and is a prescribing clinic for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
For additional information and hours, contact the clinic at 716-858-7687. Residents can also call the AIDS Hotline at 1-800-541-2437 (English) or 1-800-233-7432 (Spanish).
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