Public Health Solutions (PHS) plays a critical role in preventing the spread of HIV and assuring that those living with HIV/AIDS are connected to high-quality care in their communities. Our work in HIV spans from integrating HIV prevention interventions into our own health programs, HIV/AIDS research, and serving as a contract manager to over 120 community-based organizations and hospitals in the delivery of HIV prevention and care services.
World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st of December each year, a day when people around the world to unite in the fight against HIV. We joined people and organizations across the globe to show support for people living with HIV, and to honor those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. PHS has commemorated this day annually by bringing in guest speakers, watching HIV/AIDS- related films, and having staff conduct various presentations.
This year, PHS hosted an event for staff to gather and take time to reflect on the incredible history of this epidemic, remember those we have lost, honor those whose fight has brought us to where we are today, and celebrate our successes.
And we have a lot to celebrate.
On November 29, 2017 the NYC Health Department announced that new HIV diagnosis have reached another historic low in New York City. In 2016, those newly diagnosed with HIV dropped 15%, and 84% of HIV-positive people receiving HIV medical care in New York City were virally suppressed, up from 70% in 2011 when viral suppression rates were first tracked. This progress is especially important in light of new clinical research showing that individuals with HIV who are taking antiretroviral medicines and maintain an undetectable viral load for at least six months do not sexually transmit HIV. New York City is proud to be the first domestic jurisdiction to support the evidence-based statement that “Undetectable = Untransmittable”.
Several PHS staff spent December 1, 2017 volunteering at HIV/AIDS organizations that PHS supports, doing activities such as assembling safer sex kits, HIV testing outreach, packing food, serving meals, and meeting with HIV positive clients. They served at organizations across New York City, including The Alliance for Positive Change in Manhattan, Community Health Action of Staten Island, and NYC DOHMH in Brooklyn. Later this month, staff will be volunteering at God’s Love We Deliver to help deliver lunch to homebound HIV positive and chronically ill clients.
The Alliance for Positive Change (the Alliance) assists New Yorkers living with HIV and other chronic health conditions to obtain the medical care, peer support, and housing assistance they need to achieve health, happiness, and stability.
Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI) has been at the forefront of HIV and AIDS care services in Staten Island for over 25 years, providing HIV testing services and linking/coordinating HIV-positive people to an array of services and benefits.
God’s Love We Deliver provides nutritious individually-tailored meals to New York City metropolitan area residents with chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
From just several million dollars in 1991, to well over $100 million today, CAMS has been a vital contributor in the fight against HIV, ensuring that money is in the community and well spent to address challenges people living with HIV face. On World AIDS Day this year, we are reminded how important it is to continue to moving forward to end the HIV epidemic once and for all.