End the Epidemic
End the Epidemic is Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York State by 2020. The plan includes reducing new HIV infections annually from 3,000 to 750 and reducing the rate at which HIV-diagnosed persons progress to AIDS by 50%.
- Identify undiagnosed persons with HIV and link them to health care. New York State mandates testing for individuals over 13 regardless of risk factors; HIV testing should be regarded as a health maintenance issue in hospitals and private practices.
- Link and retain persons diagnosed with HIV to health care; begin anti-HIV therapy to maximize HIV virus suppression, keep individuals healthy, and prevent further transmission.
- Focus on treatment as prevention; studies show when positive individuals know their status and are on treatment with undetectable HIV levels, transmission is less likely.
- Provide access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk persons to keep them HIV negative.
PrEP is evidence-based intervention to prevent HIV transmission. PrEP, includes giving HIV-negative individuals daily medication, Truvada, to prevent transmission. Target populations include:
- Discordant couples, gay or bisexual men who don’t use a condom or have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past six months
- Anyone not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative
- Heterosexual men or women who don’t regularly use condoms with partners of unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk of HIV infection
- Injection drug users who share needles
PrEP is part of a comprehensive approach to preventing HIV that includes:
- Taking one pill (Truvada) daily
- Regular HIV testing
- Condom use to avoid STIs
- Education about safer sex practices and options
- Frequent screening for STIs
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