FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND HEALTH COMMISSIONER FRIEDEN ENCOURAGE NEW YORKERS TO GET TESTED FOR HIV
Rapid HIV Testing Available in All City STD Clinics; Monday, June 27th is National HIV Testing Day
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden encouraged New Yorkers to get tested for HIV on National HIV Testing Day. New York City has an aggressive program of HIV prevention and offers voluntary rapid HIV testing and HIV prevention and education throughout the City. Rapid HIV testing has been shown to increase the likelihood that people get tested and get their results. Results of rapid HIV tests are available within one hour, compared to the several days needed to receive results from traditional HIV tests. Rapid HIV testing is now available in all Health Department STD clinics.
"HIV has had an untold impact on New York City, not only the tens of thousands of New Yorkers living with HIV, but their families, friends, and caretakers," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We owe it to them to use the best tools available to stop this epidemic and the first step is getting tested. The City will redouble its efforts to get the word out about the importance of getting tested, because it will help prevent the spread of this disease and save lives."
"We estimate that approximately 20,000 New Yorkers living with HIV doesn't know that he or she is infected," said Commissioner Frieden. "HIV test results are completely confidential. If you are HIV-positive, knowing your status will help you to get treatment early, and will also help you protect your partners and others. And remember, everyone should take precautions to prevent the spread of HIV. If you're sexually active, use a latex condom every time you have sex."
In 2004, the City implemented rapid HIV testing in all ten New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) STD clinics, as well as in tuberculosis clinics, and on Rikers Island. During January to May 2005, there were 18,772 HIV tests performed in DOHMH STD clinics, a 24% increase from the same time period in 2004. Tests conducted on Rikers Island doubled between from 5,000 in 2003 to 2004 when 10,000 tests were conducted. This number is expected to double again in 2005. DOHMH plans to expand rapid HIV testing to additional medical settings, including hospitals, emergency departments, and community health centers in Central Brooklyn, the Bronx and Harlem.
Data: HIV/AIDS in New York City
In 2003, the most recent year for which data are complete:
Additional data on HIV/AIDS in New York City is available in DOHMH's most recent HIV Epidemiology Report.
How to Protect Yourself and Others:
Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Sandra Mullin/Monica Duwell (Health & Mental Hygiene)