To honor World AIDS Day tomorrow, NYC Health + Hospitals is reminding New Yorkers to prioritize their health by getting an HIV test. According to City health officials there are over 118,000 New Yorkers living with HIV, with some remaining unaware of their status.
As the State’s largest provider of HIV primary care, the City’s public health system has tested more than 1.8 million people since 2005, made almost 16,000 HIV diagnoses, and has connected thousands of patients to the care they need. NYC Health + Hospitals makes HIV testing part of routine medical care by offering tests in various locations throughout the five boroughs.
“For more than 30 years, New York City’s public health system has been a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS and in improving the health care experience for HIV patients,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President Dr. Ram Raju. “We continually work on improving HIV screening services and providing specialized and culturally competent care to HIV patients. Together we can proactively manage their long-term health and limit transmission throughout the community.”
NYC Health + Hospitals’ 11 acute care hospitals are Designated AIDS Centers, and its hospitals and community health centers offer specialized HIV care to all New Yorkers, regardless of ability to pay or immigration status. Services include:
- HIV Testing – Fast, easy, confidential. Tests are available at all public hospitals and community health centers in the five boroughs.
- Access to Care – NYC Health + Hospitals facilities have a seamless system to immediately link people to continuous, team-based and coordinated quality care when they learn they are infected with HIV. People with an HIV diagnosis receive antiretroviral treatment and self-management health education to help them be healthier, live longer and prevent transmission.
- Expert HIV/AIDS Providers – From physicians to support staff, the NYC public hospitals are home to nationally recognized HIV/AIDS specialists who have been on the front lines in the battle against this illness, providing compassionate care, testing, developing treatment plans and participating in important research.
- MetroPlus Health Plan – NYC Health + Hospitals’ health insurance plan, MetroPlus, one of the top-ranked health plans in New York City for almost 10 years, has the state’s largest HIV Special Needs Plan that provides comprehensive and targeted medical and support services to people facing HIV/AIDS. Learn more about MetroPlus.
This year the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has selected Terry Hamilton, NYC Health + Hospitals’ Assistant Vice President of HIV Services, to receive its Commissioner’s Award for her commitment to reducing HIV infections in the state. Ms. Hamilton is a member of the state task force that recently developed a plan to drastically reduce HIV infections with the goal to effectively end the HIV epidemic in the state by 2020.
The NYSDOH plan to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV resulted in no infants being born HIV-positive in the state last year. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) released new data in its 2013 HIV Surveillance Annual Report showing that the number of new HIV diagnoses in New York City has reached an all-time low.
For more information, visit www.nychhc.org or find us on facebook.com/nycHHC or twitter.com/HHCnyc.