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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 029-10
Friday, June 25, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT: (212) 788-5290
Susan Craig/Celina De Leon: PressOffice@health.nyc.gov


Health Department Announces that Bronx Residents have Received More than 375,000 HIV Tests since 2008, Surpassing a Three-Year Goal in Less than Two

National HIV Testing Day is this Sunday, June 27

June 25, 2010 – Bronx residents have received more than 375,000 HIV tests since the launch of “The Bronx Knows” HIV Testing Initiative in 2008, the Health Department announced today. The two-year milestone far exceeds the initiative’s three-year goal of helping 250,000 Bronx adults learn their HIV status. The Bronx Knows is a borough-The Bronx Knowswide collaboration among 75 community organizations, religious groups, health care providers and elected officials. The initiative has helped 1,275 people learn they are HIV-positive – a realization that is important both for their own well being and for the safety of their partners. Two-thirds of those diagnosed with HIV through the initiative have also been linked to care and services.

“We want to thank all of the many groups and health care providers who helped make this success possible, and especially recognize the thousands of Bronx residents who got tested for HIV and who are helping to stop the spread of this infection,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “We encourage all New Yorkers who don’t yet know their HIV status to follow the Bronx’s lead – and get tested.”

The Bronx Knows is one of the nation’s largest single-jurisdiction HIV testing initiatives. The initiatives’ 75 partner organizations offer HIV testing at more than 100 sites throughout the borough. The partners include all Bronx hospitals and major community health centers, more than 20 community-based organizations, and a number of universities and faith-based organizations.

“Being part of The Bronx Knows has reinforced Hispanic AIDS Forum’s belief that the only way to curb this epidemic is by pulling together as a community,” said Ximena Morgan, Director of Programs at Hispanic AIDS Forum (HAF). “Working together as collaborative partners is essential for combating the disproportionate rate of new HIV diagnoses among Latinos. We look forward to continuing our work as a Bronx Knows partner and helping to make every day HIV testing day.”

The Bronx has led the way on HIV testing in New York City, with the highest testing rate of all boroughs. Thanks in part to the united efforts of The Bronx Knows partner organizations, some 79% of Bronx adults (aged 18 to 64) knew their HIV status in 2009, up from 74% in 2008. Health Department data suggest that the second year of the effort has been even more successful than the first, with partner organizations surpassing the first year’s performance by 7%.

Despite these gains in testing, New York City remains the epicenter of this country’s HIV epidemic. In 2008, 3,809 New Yorkers were newly diagnosed with HIV and 938 of them were already sick with AIDS when they learned of their infections, meaning they had gone undiagnosed with HIV for an average of 10 years.

“The Bronx Knows is part of a wider effort to make HIV testing a routine part of medical care,” said Dr. Monica Sweeney, assistant commissioner for the Health Department’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control. “If health care providers offered HIV tests during routine exams and check ups, HIV positive people would learn their status earlier, get connected to care quicker and have the ability to take greater precautions to avoid infecting their partners. The Bronx Knows shows that barriers can be reduced when hospitals, clinics, community agencies and religious organizations work toward a common goal.”

The Bronx Knows, and You Can Too

Any New Yorker can get a free HIV test at one of the Health Department’s STD or TB clinics. For a complete list of locations throughout the city, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/bronxhivtesting. The City recommends the following steps to protect your health:

  • If you have ever had sexual intercourse – anal, vaginal or oral – or ever used intravenous drugs (even once), don’t assume that HIV is someone else’s problem. We all need to know our HIV status.
  • Use a condom every time you have sex. City residents can get free NYC condoms by calling 311 or visiting one of the hundreds of local businesses and community organizations that distribute them. For a list of locations, visit nyc.gov/condoms.
  • Reduce your number of sexual partners. Fewer partners = less risk.
  • If you’re HIV-positive, use condoms to protect yourself and others – and seek regular health care.

Please see the following for information on public events surrounding National HIV Testing Day in each borough.

Bronx

Friday, June 25 - Saturday, June 26
CitiWide Harm Reduction, Inc.
226 East 144th Street
9am - 5pm

Friday, June 25
St. Barnabas Hospital
4487 Third Avenue
10am - 4pm

Friday, June 25
Morris Heights Health Center
Burnside site: 85 West Burnside Avenue
Walton site: 25 West 183rd Street
Mobile van: Fordham/Kingsbridge area
10am - 5pm

Friday, June 25
Bronx AIDS Services/VIP Community Services
Westchester Square and Water Place
10am - 2pm

953 Southern Blvd., Suite 201
10am - 3pm

East 171st Street and Washington Avenue
2pm - 7pm

Saturday, June 26
Bronx AIDS Services/VIP Community Services
New St. John Baptist Church
2409 Lorillard Place
10am - 3pm

Church Alive
1201 Findlay Avenue
Noon - 2 pm

World Mission
2630 Kingsbridge Road
Noon - 4pm

Saturday, June 26
Bronx Knows/Community Healthcare Network/Hispanic AIDS Forum/AIDS Health Care Foundation
Promenade at Orchard Beach, Section 9
12 pm - 6 pm

Sunday, June 27
Bronx AIDS Services/VIP Community Services
East 163rd Street and Prospect Avenue
10am - 2pm

East 171st Street and Washington Avenue
2pm - 7pm

Sunday, June 27
Voces Latina/AIDS Health Care Foundation
Manual de Dios Unanue Park
83rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue
12 pm - 5pm

Monday, June 28
Bronx AIDS Services
Fordham Avenue and Grand Concourse
10am - 2pm

953 Southern Blvd., Suite 201
10am - 3pm

East 169th Street and Webster Avenue
2pm - 7pm

Monday, June 28
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Diagnostic and Treatment Center
545 East 142nd Street, First floor lobbby
9am - 5pm

Tuesday, June 29
Bronx AIDS Services
953 Southern Blvd., Suite 201
10am - 3pm

Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development
1363 Ogden Avenue
Noon - 4pm

Bronx AIDS Services/Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development
East 153rd Street and Courtland Avenue
2pm - 7pm

Wednesday, June 30
Bronx AIDS Services
East 183rd Street and Burnside Avenue
10am - 2pm

953 Southern Blvd., Suite 201
10am - 3pm

East 153rd Street and Courtland Avenue
2pm - 7pm

Wednesday, June 30
James J. Peters VA Medical Center
130 West Kingsbridge Road
9am - 2pm

Manhattan

Saturday, June 26
El Barrio Festival by Settlement Health
East 106th Street
11am - 3pm

Saturday, June 26
Harlem United Health Fair
Corner of 119th Street and 5th Avenue
10am - 4pm

Sunday, June 27
Pride Fest by Harlem United
Houston Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street
9am - 5pm

Brooklyn

Friday, June 25
La Nueva Esperanza, Inc.
213 Johnson Avenue between Humboldt and Bushwick
10 am - 4 pm

Friday, June 25
Amethyst Women’s Project/Black Leadership Commission on AIDS/AIDS Health Care Foundation
W. 20th Street between Mermaid and Surf Avenues
11 am - 7 pm

Queens

Sunday, June 27
Voces Latinas
Manual de Dios Unanue Park
83rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue
12pm - 5pm

Staten Island

Friday, June 25

Project Hospitality Street Festival
Jersey Street and Beneziger Avenue
5pm - 8pm