Press Release

Gillibrand Releases Report Showing HIV/AIDS Still Devastating New York

Apr 1, 2009

Washington, D.C. U.S.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today released a new report showing the far
reach of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York and announced steps she’s
taking to address prevention for the vulnerable and care for the
infected.  The Office of Senator Gillibrand is hosting a Congressional
briefing today entitled HIV Prevention in the United States in the Capitol Building.

York is the frontline for one of the worst epidemics in the history of
humankind,” Senator Gillibrand said.  “There has never been a greater
sense of urgency to increase our commitment to fighting HIV and AIDS. 
We need to make critical investments that emphasize early prevention
and screenings, and provide access to affordable care to get a handle
on this horrible disease.”

More than 1 million Americans are
living with HIV/AIDS – more than ever before.  A new HIV infection is
found every 10 minutes in the U.S.

New York has the highest
number of Americans living with and dying from HIV/AIDS, with New York
City at the center of the epidemic.  New York City accounts for 15
percent of all new AIDS diagnoses, 14 percent of all new HIV diagnoses
and 16 percent of total AIDS-related deaths in America.  The New York
City extended metropolitan area has more newly diagnosed AIDS cases
than Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami combined.  New York State
as a whole accounts for 20 percent of all AIDS deaths in America.

combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in New York, Senator Gillibrand is
calling for full federal funding for the National AIDS Strategy to help
coordinate efforts that focus on prevention for those most vulnerable
to new infections and providing access to affordable treatment for
those infected.  The Strategy calls for $1.4 million of federal funds
over the next year.

To strengthen prevention and make treatment
more affordable, Senator Gillibrand will co-sponsor the Early Treatment
for HIV Act – legislation aimed at allowing states to provide critical
care to low-income people living with HIV and addressing long waiting
lists for access to life-saving medications.

The report indicates that:

  • Women and minorities are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • African Americans account for half of all new infections of HIV/AIDS in New York City.
  • Low-income communities are the most concentrated HIV/AIDS areas.
  • More than 20 percent of those infected with HIV/AIDS virus do not know it.

Senator Gillibrand is joining with AIDS
Action, the AIDS Institute, Human Rights Campaign, National Alliance of
State and Territorial AIDS Directors, the National Coalition of STD
Directors and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the
United States to raise awareness about the epidemic, and develop
solutions to help combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. 

A copy of the full report is attached.