Great news has come from health officials in New York City.
According to the New York Post, we are currently seeing a 17-year-low of new HIV diagnoses in New York City. And the biggest contributor to this development in the eyes of the Health Department? PrEP.
Currently, the city is promoting the use of PrEP to QPOC and minority groups most susceptible to HIV contractions. The city has spent $23 million a year to do so. And with the 2018 HIV Surveillance Annual Report showing that just 1,917 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2018, it looks like that initiative is working out.
That number is 11 percent lower from the 2,157 in 2017. Then, it’s a substantial 61 percent lower than the numbers reported in 2001. If this decline continues, the infection rate in New York City will drop below the epidemic level in 2020.
According to NBC New York, City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot says the city takes “a data-driven, sex-positive approach” to prevent new infections.
— Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi, MD (@NYCHealthCommr) November 22, 2019
“New York City can end the epidemic if we continue to fight against the stigma, bias and discrimination that continue to be significant drivers of HIV, particularly among Black and Latino men who have sex with men,” Barbot added.
Meanwhile, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson says the decline in new HIV cases is “truly something to celebrate.” But there’s “so much work to do,” according to the official.
But that’s not all the money is going towards, the $23 million also supports treatment before and after HIV contraction. Part of the money helps to fund eight clinics throughout the city. These clinics provide free or extremely cheap services for HIV testing and medical treatment.
Its thanks to treatments like these that not only is HIV contraction on the decline, but the Department of Health estimates 87% of those who contracted the virus are undetectable or ‘suppressing’ the virus.
Good for New York.