HIV Screening Rates Jump in NYC

New York City's public hospitals have posted a 116% increase in HIV screenings over the past three years, jumping from 63,023 to 134,000 patients tested each year.

BY admin

December 05 2007 12:00 AM ET

New York City's
public hospitals have posted a 116% increase in HIV
screenings over the past three years, jumping from 63,023 to
134,000 patients tested each year.

The New York City
council said in a press release that it has made HIV
testing a priority, reallocating funds for HIV rapid testing
in public hospitals.

"The HIV/AIDS
epidemic continues to be one of the greatest health
challenges facing our city," said council speaker Christine
Quinn in the release. "And providing resources
for prevention has become a major priority for the
city council. Collaborating with numerous partners,
like the Health and Hospitals Corporation, the council has
allocated approximately $13.4 million in this year's budget
to support New York City's HIV/AIDS prevention
programs. Today's news about the increase in HIV
testing rates is strong evidence that increased
availability of HIV testing has been a significant tool for
early detection and preventative care."

"We've
dramatically increased our HIV/AIDS screening by offering
rapid tests in every emergency room, inpatient unit, and in
almost every type of clinic to every patient we treat
-- including teens and young adults, the age group
where half of all new HIV infections occur," HHC
president Alan D. Aviles said in the release. "By making
testing part of routine medical screening we can help
overcome the stigmas and barriers that are associated
with the disease and reach more New Yorkers who may be
HIV-positive and not know it. That is why we've committed to
further expansion of our testing program to reach 150,000
more patients this fiscal year."

The city council
wants to make it clear that rapid HIV tests can provide
patients with a better understanding of the virus and can
encourage them to take steps to remain healthy and
connected to care. (The Advocate)

Tags: Health

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