New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced members of a task force who will work to implement a three-point plan to end the AIDS epidemic in the Empire State, according to an October 14 press release from the governor’s office. Specifically, the group aims to lower new HIV infections to 750 per year by 2020.
The task force consists of more than 60 members, including co-chairs Charles King, the chief executive officer of Housing Works, and Guthrie Birkhead, MD, MPH, a deputy commissioner with the state health department. The task force will be divided into four subcommittees specializing in prevention, care, data, and housing and supportive services.
In addition to the task force, two other groups will be named at a later date. One will be made up of public officials who will give feedback to the task force; the other will include LGBT and AIDS advocates who will promote the task force plans.
The task force will meet five times, beginning October 14, to develop a blueprint to follow Cuomo’s three-point plan to end the AIDS epidemic. Those three points are:
• Identify undiagnosed HIV-positive people and get them into care
• Link people living with HIV into care and retain them on treatment so they remain healthy and undetectable (and thus less likely to transmit the virus to others)
• Provide access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to people at high risk for HIV so they remain negative
For more information on the task force and to read a list of the members, click here.