Ahead of World AIDS Day, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announces historic low fornew HIV diagnoses
The number of new HIV diagnoses in New York City has decreased by 64 percent since 2001.
In 2017, the number of New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV was 2,157— an all-time low for New York City.
According to data from the 2017 HIV Surveillance Annual Report, newly diagnosed cases declined last year, down 5.4 percent from 2016.
“Our city has been on the frontlines of the HIV and AIDS epidemic for decades,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Reaching our goal to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020 in New York City is a good start, but we won’t rest until we eradicate the epidemic once and for all.”
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, Deputy Commissioner for the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control, explains in a statement that more New Yorkers are receiving quicker care, achieving viral suppression and an expanded use of condom distribution and public health campaigns in the city.
“We are diagnosing people with HIV earlier and linking them to care, preventing disease progression while harnessing the power of treatment to prevent transmission,” Dr. Daskalakis said.
On Saturday, Dec 1 it’s the 30th anniversary of the World AIDS Day, a day aimed to raise HIV-awareness and remembrance.
“As someone who is HIV positive, I'm proud to lead a council that has made the fight against AIDS/HIV a priority, including investing $6.9 million for Ending the Epidemic in 2020,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson
This year’s theme “Breaking Through Stigma” focuses on how perception and discrimination have created obstacles for people living with, and affected by, HIV to accessing optimal health care and support in history.
The celebration of the day will start on Friday night with a reading of the names of those who died from AIDS at the Cathedral of St John the Divine and free HIV testing at the LGBT Community Center.
On Saturday, there will be a candlelight vigil at the NYC AIDS Memorial and with different speeches including Dr. Tracie Keesee, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for Equity and Inclusion, Reverend Mark Erson, and spokespersons from the New York State social marketing campaign “HIV Stops With Me”.
“Although we have made great progress in this fight, the battle is far from over. We will continue to fight for all New Yorkers affected by this disease,” Johnson said.