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NEW YORKERS: IT’S TIME TO STAND UP AND TAKE NOTICE OF HIV/AIDS
Planned Parenthood of New York City Calls for Awareness and Integration on World AIDS Day (12/1/11)
(New York, NY)—This December 1, 2011, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) is calling on New Yorkers to stand up and take notice of HIV/AIDS.
“This is a disease we can’t afford to ignore,” said Joan Malin, President and CEO of PPNYC. “Not only are more than a hundred thousand New Yorkers living with HIV, but thousands more don’t even know they have it.”
According to the New York City Department of Health, New York City is the epicenter of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Our rate of AIDS is three times the national average, and HIV remains the 3rd leading cause of death for New Yorkers aged 35-54. The disease disproportionately affects communities of color—the vast majority of those affected are people of color; 80.6% of those diagnosed with HIV are Black or Hispanic. Though Black and Latina woman account for only 29 percent of the New York female population, together they represent 86 percent of New York women living HIV/AIDS.
“Although we have made great strides towards treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, many New Yorkers still are not convinced that this is a disease that can or does affect them,” said Malin. “Our work won’t be done until every single New Yorker knows their HIV status, gets tested regularly, and receives the treatment and care that they need.”
Although a number of barriers—fear, lack of information, taboo—can prevent New Yorkers from seeking HIV/AIDS testing and care, it is only by fully integrating HIV/AIDS into every day health care and education that we can effectively prevent and treat the disease. This means getting regularly tested at the doctor, knowing your HIV status, and always practicing safe sex.
PPNYC offers a range of HIV/AIDS services—from fully integrated low-cost testing, to education, to at-risk programs, to awareness and outreach. Through programs like Project Street Beat, PPNYC also goes out into at-risk communities, providing HIV services to those who need it most where they live and work.
“Ignoring HIV/AIDS won’t make it go away,” said Malin. “An HIV/AIDS test needs to be as common as getting your blood pressure checked. We need to integrate HIV/AIDS prevention and care into our every day lives.”
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 nearly 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 brings 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. http://www.ppnyc.org/