In recognition of World AIDS Day, NYC Health + Hospitals reminded New Yorkers that affordable, gender-affirming care is available for patients seeking testing and treatment for HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Those with additional risk factors – such as those with more than one sex partner – get tested more frequently. NYC Health + Hospitals offers many locations for HIV testing, and additional facilities for HIV/AIDS care. Anyone interested in HIV testing, HIV prevention through PrEP, or treatment for HIV can schedule an appointment at 1-844-NYC-4NYC. New Yorkers can visit here for more information about locations and services.
“We are incredibly fortunate to be living in a time when treatment for HIV is readily available and effective,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “This World AIDS Day, make sure you know your HIV status, and if you test positive, we have an array of services and an incredible team to support you.”
“NYC Health + Hospitals is proud to be a leader in HIV prevention and care,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer Nichola Davis, MD, MS. “Our dedicated and passionate HIV care teams work with individuals living with HIV to support their ability to access life-saving treatments and maintain care routines that keep them healthy and ensure they can no longer spread HIV through sex.”
A recent report from the NYC Health Department indicated that in 2021, the city saw a 14% increase in HIV diagnoses, likely due to due delays seeking treatment during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. NYC Health + Hospitals has successfully engaged and treated thousands of HIV patients. Of the over 12,000 patients with HIV who engaged in primary care at NYC Health + Hospitals over the past 12 months, 98% were on antiretroviral therapy and 88% had suppressed viral loads. The health system tested nearly 170,000 people for HIV in 2021, with less than 1% testing positive. NYC Health + Hospitals has one third of the State’s Designated AIDS Centers, which offer uninterrupted access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and routine care through virtual care appointments, 90-day ART supply, and special clinic-based outreach programs.
HIV prevention remains a key focus of NYC Health + Hospitals’ efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) are crucial options to strengthen sexual health and wellbeing while reducing risk for HIV infection. PrEP and PEP are accessible to all individuals at low or no cost regardless of insurance or immigration status. PrEP is offered at Primary Care and Women’s Health clinics in addition to the system’s HIV clinics and Pride Centers.
NYC Health + Hospital’s HIV/AIDS services include:
· HIV Testing – Fast, easy, and confidential tests are available at all 11 hospitals and community health centers in the five boroughs.
· HIV Prevention – The health system offers HIV prevention services and access to medications that can be used to prevent HIV transmission.
- PEP, an emergency medication taken after HIV exposure, is available at all 11 hospitals.
- PrEP, medication taken before HIV exposure, is available at all 17 HIV clinics, 7 Pride Centers, and many primary care and women’s health providers across the system.
· 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 have HIV. People with an HIV diagnosis receive antiretroviral treatment and self-management health education to help them be healthier, live longer and prevent transmission.
· Compassionate and respectful care – All 18 of our eligible facilities earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” designation in 2022 — a recognition we have received every year since 2015. To earn this, facilities must train staff in LGBTQIA+ health care, have LGBTQIA+ responsive policies and make those policies available to the public and staff.
For more information on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention offered at NYC Health + Hospitals, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/services/hivaids-care/ or call 844-NYC-4NYC.