By Shoshana Stahl, SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News)– New York State is the first in the nation to declare October 20-26 as PrEP Awareness Week. This week highlights medication available to prevent HIV- pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a once daily pill that reduces the risk of contracting HIV by 99%.
Governor Cuomo’s “Ending the Epidemic” initiative is on track to end the AIDS epidemic by the end of 2020.
The state allocates $20 million annually to fund the initiative but PrEP awareness week allocates an additional $175,000.
Governor Cuomo is requiring health insurance plans to cover PrEP without co-pays to make it more affordable for New Yorkers.
HIV testing has increased this year and the number of new diagnoses has dropped by eleven percent since 2018. The state’s goal is to get new diagnoses to decrease from the over 2400 this year to under 750 next year. This plan will make HIV a controllable infectious disease.
ACR Health in Syracuse has a clinic where people can get tested for HIV and have access to PrEP. Community members can learn more or make an appointment at 315-475-2430.