ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state can end its three-decade HIV crisis by the year 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday as he announced an ambitious plan to deliver a knockout blow to the epidemic by boosting testing, reducing new infections and expanding treatment.
The governor said the state is aiming to reduce new HIV diagnoses to 750 by the end of the decade — about the same number of tuberculosis cases seen in New York City each year — down from 3,000 expected this year and 14,000 new cases of the disease in 1993. If the state is successful, it would be the first time the number of people living with HIV has gone down since the crisis began with the first widely reported cases in 1981.
“Thirty years ago, New York was the epicenter of the AIDS crisis,” Cuomo said. “Today I am proud to announce that we are in a position to be the first state in the nation committed to ending this epidemic.”
To expand treatment, the state’s Department of Health has negotiated bulk rebates with three companies producing HIV drugs. The state is also taking steps to make it easier to get tested, changing how HIV cases are tracked to ensure patients continue to receive treatment, and boosting access to “pre-exposure” drugs that can help high-risk people avoid infection.