ALBANY, N.Y. - On Sunday Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a three-part plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York state.
The goal is to decrease the number of new HIV cases to the point where the number of New Yorkers living with HIV is reduced for the first time.
According to a news release sent out by the governor's office, the end of the state AIDS epidemic will occur when the total number of new infections falls below the number of HIV-related deaths.
The "Bending the Curve" program calls for identifying those who are currently undiagnosed and helping them find health care and getting those people on anti-HIV therapy to suppress the HIV virus as best as possible to prevent further transmission.
Another component involves providing access to pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk people in order to keep them HIV negative.
"Thirty years ago, New York was the epicenter of the AIDS crisis. Today I am proud to announce that we are in a position to be the first state in the nation committed to ending this epidemic," said Governor Cuomo. "New York State has reached an important milestone in controlling the AIDS epidemic, and through this comprehensive stratgegy, we are decreasing new HIV infections to the point where by 2020, the number of persons living with HIV in New York State will be reduced for the first time."
The first report of AIDS was 33 years ago on July 3, 1981, and some of the first cases of the disease were in New York.
New York has eliminated HIV transmission via blood products and virtually ended mother-to-child transmission. The number of new HIV diagnoses due to injected drug use has gone down 96% since the mid-1990s.
Over the last decade, New York State has achieved a 40% reduction in new HIV cases.
In 2014 there were 3,000 newly diagnosed HIV infections, down from 14,000 newly diagnosed AIDS cases in 1993.