A new plan against HIV infections, Ending the Epidemic, has been established in the summer of 2014 by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The target of this program was to reduce HIV infections from 3,000 to 750 a year by 2020.
According to the governor’s office, the next step will be to introduce a series of legislative amendments that would grant a better access to treatment and testing for the elderly and minors.
Therefore, the first change would be to offer children the required treatment for HIV without the consent of a parent or a tutor. Plus, pre-exposure prophylaxis will be available for people at high risk and HIV-negative, but this method is also expensive.
The second change would be to revise the state HIV testing guidelines to match federal guidelines better, encouraging medical providers to offer testing for routine care as long as the patient doesn’t specify that it is not necessary.
The third step would be to remove the HIV testing age of 64 years so that anyone should benefit from an HIV test. This decision was taken after the statistics showed that half of all HIV cases are consist of people over 50 years old. Moreover, around 200 people over 60 years old are diagnosed with HIV every year.
These new changes would also be supported by community health providers and care management facilities in sharing patient data. Furthermore, registered nurses would be allowed to screen patients for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and other STDs known to extend the risk of HIV infection.
Plus, people exposed to HIV would receive from pharmacies post-exposure prophylaxis whereas, for the time being, patients can only benefit from this treatment from an emergency department.
According to Charles King, President, and CEO of Housing Works, these measures will be crucial in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. Housing Works is a non-profit charity based in New York that aims to reduce both homelessness and HIV infections.
However other advocates such as Jeremy Saunders, co-executive director of advocacy group Vocal-NY, are disappointed because there is still no support from the governor in the case of housing rental assistance for HIV patients, a program worth $50 million.
Maybe in the future, these new ideas will pay off and hopefully, the HIV infections will drop off.