New York City and AIDS

Based on the most recent HIV/AIDS epidemiological data from federal, state, and city health departments, the New York City-based group Harlem United reports the following four statistics:

- 50% of new HIV infections are among Black men and women
- 1 in 3 HIV-positive New Yorkers is a woman of color
- Harlem residents are almost 3 times as likely to be HIV-positive as other New Yorkers
- 1 in 4 New Yorkers who are HIV-positive don’t even know it.

If you think these are scary, you’re not alone. There are dozens of groups here in New York that are working to promote a comprehensive New York City policy agenda when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) is one of them. Started in 1982, GMHC’s mission is to reduce the spread of HIV disease, help people with HIV maintain and improve their health and independence, and keep the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV an urgent national and local priority. The GMHC Hotline responds to over 35,000 phone calls and internet requests a year. They have dozens of other Programs and Services available as well.

GMHC’s New York City efforts fall into three categories: prevention, housing and essential services, and testing. Prevention efforts include decreasing new infections among young women of color and young men who have sex with men. They aim to secure funding streams for HIV prevention and services and expand sex education and gay-affirming intervention with youth in school. Their housing and essential services efforts including passing the HIV/AIDS Service Administration (HASA) for all, and making necessary changes to HASA’s housing placement services as recommended by the NYC Office of the Comptroller. They hope to expand HIV testing while maintaining written informed consent.

If you’re interested in reading GMHC’s Federal Policy Agenda, click here.

And since it’s hard to talk about any issues these days without a discussion of where Obama and McCain stand on it, you can click here to review each of their HIV/AIDS policies.