Ending AIDS 2020 - From Blueprint to Action

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December 1 is World AIDS Day

The Rochester Victory Alliance has compiled a list of local events related to World AIDS Day. Click here to be directed to the schedule of activities.

City, Trillium Health and the MOCHA Center Partner to End the AIDS Epidemic

The City of Rochester and Trillium Health in collaboration with The MOCHA Center, support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Ending the Epidemic (ETE) Blueprint to move our community closer to the end of the AIDS epidemic in New York State. The Blueprint includes recommendations to improve HIV testing, help prevent the spread of disease and provide better treatment. Read the Blueprint here.

You can play a role in ending the epidemic. Find out what services and resources are available to you. By getting tested for HIV, people can learn their HIV status, avoid passing the virus to others and be an important part of the plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York.

HIV Testing By the Numbers:

  • Since the beginning of the epidemic, about 130,000 New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS have died.
  • With advances in treatment, HIV is now a manageable illness. The annual number of deaths among people with AIDS has been about 2,000 since 2011.
  • HIV testing is over 99 percent accurate and rapid HIV testing can give a result in 20 minutes.
  • The Department of Health estimates that up to 22,000 New Yorkers living with HIV are not aware of their HIV status.

Who Should Get Tested?

Everyone should know their HIV status. Since 2010, health care providers have been required to offer HIV testing as part of routine health care services to all patients ages 13 – 64.
People at risk of HIV infection include those who:

  • Have multiple sex partners
  • Have ever injected drugs
  • Have ever had a sexually transmitted disease
  • Have sex with a person living with HIV

How Does HIV Testing Work?

The provider offering the HIV test will share information about HIV verbally, in writing or through a video. He or she will obtain the patient’s verbal consent to conduct the test. There are different types of HIV tests. Some involve drawing blood, while others involve pricking the patient’s finger or swabbing the mouth to get fluid. Some tests are “rapid tests” and the results are ready in 20 minutes. A person is only told that he or she has HIV infection if the test result is confirmed by a second or sometimes a third test. HIV test results are confidential.

Where Can a Person Get Tested?

Everyone should talk to their doctor about having an HIV test. To access free HIV testing or testing where a name isn’t given, call 1-800-541-AIDS (English) or 1-800-233-SIDA (Spanish).

Use this testing site locator to find free, fast and confidential testing sites near you.

What if the Test Finds that the Person has HIV Infection?

The provider who gives the test result will explain the meaning of the test and arrange an appointment for HIV medical care. Education about how to avoid passing the virus to others is provided. In NYS, there are many resources to ensure that people with HIV can afford health care and HIV medications. Clinical guidelines suggest that all people with HIV begin treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment will prevent the virus from damaging a person’s health and will help keep the person healthy.

How Can a Person Prevent HIV?

  • Abstinence: Simply choose not to have sex.
  • Sober Sex: If you’re drinking or taking drugs, you are more apt to get into a situation where safer sex practices falter or fail altogether. If you have sex when you’re sober, you’re more likely to be safe.
  • Latex and Polyurethane Barrier Methods: Use safe sex materials such as male and female condoms, dental dams, and finger cots when engaging in sexual activity. Do not use male and female condoms at the same time.
  • Fewer Partners/Monogamy: The fewer sex partners you have, the more you reduce your risk of HIV infection.
  • PrEP: Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a prevention option for people who do not have HIV but who are vulnerable to HIV to prevent infection by taking a pill every day. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, PrEP can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection. When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently.

How can a person access HIV Treatment and Support Services?

HIV testing is the only way to know if a person has HIV. If a person tests positive, the provider will arrange an appointment for HIV medical care. People living with HIV who were in medical care and stopped, can contact the provider they saw in the past or find a new provider in the AIDS Institute’s HIV Regional Resource Directory. Financial help is available for people who do not have health insurance. Call HIV Uninsured Care Programs at 1-800-542-2437.

*Information provided by the New York State Department of Health and Trillium Health.
Trillium Health is a local resource offering primary medical care, including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C specialty care, on-site pharmacy and lab services insurance assistance, supportive services, rapid HIV testing and more. Visit Trillium Health at 259 Monroe Ave., call (585) 545-7200 (toll free: 1-800-266-9292). The MOCHA Center provides prevention programs, support services for People Living with HIV/AIDS, advocacy, capacity building and beyond. The MOCHA Center is located at 189 N. Water St., call (585) 420-1400.

Additional Resources and Information:

Click here for upcoming events hosted by Trillium Health

Click here to sign up for alerts and notifications from The MOCHA Center

For free publications on HIV/AIDS, such as:
• 100 Questions & Answers about HIV/AIDS
• Protect Yourself and Your Baby from HIV and AIDS
• Reasons To Get An HIV Test

Write to:
NYS Department of Health, AIDS Institute, ESP, Corning Tower, Room 259, Albany, NY 12237; or call: (518) 474-9866; or visit  www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/aids/publications

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
National Prevention Information Network on HIV and AIDS: 1-800-458-5231  
• CDC Info Line: 1-800-232-4636