Harlem United Welcomes Cuomo’s Endorsement of the Ending the AIDS

April 29, 2015

79fe3f97-d565-4369-818e-785b0b67b06cHarlem United, an AIDS service and community health organization founded at the height of the AIDS epidemic in New York City, welcomes Governor Andrew Cuomo’s endorsement of a Blueprint to End AIDS.

Each year, the $41-million Harlem-based human service organization provides critical health, housing and social services to more than 13,000 individuals with multiple needs.

The release of the blueprint comes exactly ten months after Governor Cuomo made public his historic announcement and commitment to ending the AIDS Epidemic in New York State by 2020. To shape the Plan to End AIDS, he and the state Department of Health appointed a Task Force comprised of 63 activists, health service providers, researchers, and public health professionals from around the state who met regularly for three months to craft comprehensive recommendations to the Governor, the State legislature, State agencies, county and city governments, as well as health providers, the private sector, and community-based organizations. Harlem United sat on the Governor’s Ending the Epidemic Task Force, and the resulting Blueprint articulates 30 recommendations that must be implemented for the State Plan to succeed—to decrease new HIV infections to fewer than 750 by 2020—and includes seven recommendations for “Getting to Zero” HIV infections and the ultimate eradication of HIV.

“This was a bold and visionary step by Governor Cuomo, a step being modeled by other states and jurisdictions around the country,” commented Jacquelyn Kilmer, Chief Executive Officer of Harlem United.  “We are encouraged that the Governor is committed to making this vision a reality. The blueprint sets the course for community, government and industry to curb, and ultimately end, the HIV epidemic in New York State.”

In addition to the human impact of ending AIDS statewide, effective implementation of the Blueprint recommendations to end AIDS by 2020 will result in $4.5 Billion in Medicaid savings for New York State, according to an analysis conducted by Housing Works and Treatment Action Group, two Task Force member organizations.

Harlem remains among one of the neighborhoods most impacted by HIV and AIDS in New York City. As of 2013, Harlem had among the highest rates of HIV diagnoses and highest proportion of people living with HIV. “If enacted fully, this plan will provide an unprecedented opportunity to support and scale up interventions we know will work for our communities – from condoms to housing – as well as create access and opportunities for newer interventions, like pre-exposure prophylaxis. We can’t afford not to seize it,” said Kilmer.


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