The Health Department today announced expanded hours for its STD clinics, including new weekend hours. These changes are the first of many clinic enhancements expected throughout 2016 as part of Mayor de Blasio’s NYC Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic, and the administration’s commitment to increasing access to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases – including the continuing battle against hepatitis and syphilis infections throughout the city.
Starting this week, seven STD clinics will offer services Monday through Friday, with Saturday hours available at the Riverside in Harlem and Fort Greene locations.
Starting this week, seven STD clinics will offer services Monday through Friday, with Saturday hours available at the Riverside in Harlem and Fort Greene locations. The $500,000 investment – part of the NYC Plan to End the Epidemic – will expand total clinic hours to 10 additional hours per week. The city’s STD clinics see 80,000 visits per year, and nearly 5,000 more annual visits are expected at the Fort Greene and Riverside locations as a result of this investment.
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The locations in Harlem:
- Riverside, 160 W 100th St, 1st Floor., New York, NY 10025
- Central Harlem, 2238 Fifth Ave, 1st Floor, New York NY 10037
- Manhattanville, 21 Old Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York NY 10027
The new service expansions are a component of the city’s effort to effectively end the AIDS epidemic. The NYC Plan to End the Epidemic includes a total $23 million investment in FY2017 to increase HIV prevention and health care programming that will benefit nearly 200,000 New Yorkers per year when fully implemented. The plan aims to decrease HIV transmission in New York City by reducing the number of new annual HIV infections, part of a statewide goal of no more than 750 cases per year by 2020. The clinic schedule changes will increase access to HIV testing, and will bring at-risk New Yorkers into contact with the healthcare system.
“The addition of more clinic service hours is an important step in our commitment to connecting all New Yorkers to treatment and care. I thank Mayor de Blasio and his administration for their determination and support to ending the epidemic,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “I am hopeful that expanding STD services will not only contribute to our efforts to end the AIDS epidemic, but it will also address persistent inequities that exist in the area of sexual health.”
“In 2016, we will be making our Health Department clinics bigger and better than ever before. These expanded hours are just one part of our push to make high quality sexual health services available to all New Yorkers and to be the first big city in America to end the AIDS epidemic,” said Dr. Jay Varma, Deputy Commissioner for Disease Control. “We’re grateful to the HIV advocacy community for raising awareness about and fighting for high quality sexual health services.”
“The connections between HIV and other STDs, coupled with the opportunities for HIV prevention through prophylaxis and early treatment, make the DOHMH STD clinics a natural hub for sexual health – including HIV care,” said Dr. Susan Blank, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of STD Control & Prevention.
“I welcome the move by DOHMH to increase access to STD testing by expanding clinic hours. After STD education, prevention and treatment programs were subject to years of budget cuts during the previous mayoralty, this a practical but critical early step in Mayor de Blasio’s comprehensive ‘NYC Plan to End the Epidemic,’” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health.
“This is a key step in the plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York State,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health. “We know that early treatment is the critical factor in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and expanding clinic hours will be extremely impactful. I commend Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Jay Varma and their staff for taking this affirmative step towards eradicating sexually transmitted infections.”
“Timely access to care is critical in preventing the spread of STI’s like HIV and Syphilis, infection rates for which remain disproportionately high in my district,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “While most STI’s are treatable, effective treatment depends on early detection and expedient delivery of care. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s decision to expand clinic hours will make it easier to diagnose new infections and provide people with the vital services they need. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the DOHMH for this new initiative, which will bring us one step closer to ending the AIDS epidemic in New York.”
“To achieve our goal of an AIDS-free New York by 2020, we need to ensure prevention efforts reach New Yorkers who are at highest risk of becoming HIV-positive and get those who are HIV-positive diagnosed and onto early treatment,” said Housing Works President & CEO Charles King. “By expanding access to critical STD services, Mayor de Blasio and the Health Department are helping address the disparities that drive HIV infection and are bringing us a step closer to ending this epidemic once and for all.”
“STD and HIV testing and prevention play a critical role in stemming the spread of HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and expanding the operating hours at the Health Department clinics is a step in the right direction toward removing barriers to testing,” said Kelsey Louie, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “It is essential for all New Yorkers to know their status – and to have access to treatment and prevention services. GMHC plays a critical role by offering confidential HIV testing and full STI screenings at our Testing Center in Chelsea, which will soon be open on Saturdays, as well as with our mobile testing van that travels throughout NYC. The Health Department’s investment to expanding the city’s clinic hours is an important step in our historic goal of ending the AIDS epidemic in New York State by 2020.”
“Community Healthcare Network (CHN) is fully supportive of the city’s initiative to expand STD testing hours in New York City clinics. It is imperative that we address the city-wide increase in STD diagnosis, and enabling individuals with expanded access to comprehensive testing is an invaluable step in the right direction,” said Community Healthcare Network Vice President of Infectious Diseases and LGBTQ Programs and Services, Freddy Molano. “In 2015, CHN conducted 28,727 HIV tests, and expanded our hours of service within our own organization to accommodate the needs of these communities. We are honored to be a community partner to the city’s efforts, and will continue to aid them in providing support for the Plan to End the AIDS Epidemic.”
“Extending access to those in need by adding hours is not rocket science, it’s good sense. Good sense reaps good results,” said Mr. Ralph Belloise, Director of HIV Services for SBH Health System in the Bronx.