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Press Release (12/15/10): "PPNYC Expands HIV Testing and Linkage to Care Services"

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Erica Sackin, (212) 274-7294 or erica.sackin@ppnyc.org


Published: 12.15.10| Updated: 12.15.10

Helping New Yorkers to Become Aware of Their HIV Status

(New York, NY)—Planned  Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) is pleased to announce the expansion and enhancement of HIV testing and linkage to care services at its three reproductive health centers—Margaret Sanger Center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Bronx Center in the South Bronx, and Boro Hall Center in Downtown Brooklyn. This expansion of PPNYC’s HIV Test ICAN (Increasing Community Access in Our Neighborhoods) is supported by a grant from Gilead Sciences. 

“Through this expansion of services we will be able to increase the number of undiagnosed New Yorkers who are aware of their HIV status, and help to link individuals who are identified as HIV-positive to primary medical care, prevention education, and other supportive services,” said Joan Malin, President and CEO of PPNYC.” 

In New York City, medically underserved low-income communities have been among the most severely affected by HIV/AIDS. For example, in New York City, the rate of HIV diagnosis is 47.6 per 100,000 population. In contrast, in Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crown Heights the rate of HIV diagnosis is 84.5 per 100,000 population, and in the South Bronx neighborhood of High Bridge/Morrisania the rate is 92.8 per 100,000 population, nearly twice the rate for all of New York City.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the vast majority of those affected by HIV – 80.6 percent – are African American/Black or Hispanic.
 
PPNYC’s health centers serve more than 50,000 clients each year with services including: gynecological care, family planning, pregnancy tests, male health services, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and options counseling, surgical and medication abortion, cervical and breast cancer screening, colposcopies, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV counseling and testing, and assistance with obtaining public health insurance. As a safety net provider, PPNYC serves all who need care, including uninsured and underinsured women and men, immigrants, and teens. Approximately 67% of our clients are covered by Medicaid or other types of public insurance, or are eligible for the PPNYC sliding scale fee.

In addition to the clinical services offered at our health centers, PPNYC launched Project Street Beat in 1988, a street-based HIV prevention and access to care program. Project Street Beat is specifically designed to bring a full range of HIV/STI prevention and support services, as well as basic health care services, to the city’s most underserved and at-risk communities. Using vans and a mobile medical unit, Project Street Beat’s specially trained staff  provide street outreach, individual and group counseling, HIV rapid testing, risk assessment, evidence-based interventions, support groups, harm reduction, case management, basic medical services including reproductive health care, and referrals for HIV primary care and supportive services. Since 2007, Project Street Beat has had an Early Intervention Services program that seeks to ensure that HIV-positive patients are linked with an HIV primary care facility, where they can receive ongoing care.

 

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Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers.  Serving more than 50,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling.  Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC is bringing better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers.   As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.

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