The number of new HIV infections is going down in New York City, but now is not the time to be complacent. It is estimated that one in seven Americans with HIV do not know they are infected, and certain groups continue to bear a disproportionate burden of new infections, including women of color and young men who have sex with men (MSM).
Every New Yorker can do something to protect themselves and others: take an HIV test. Testing is the gateway to prevention services and education, or for people living with HIV, a way to access the services they need.
Wednesday, June 27 marks the annual National HIV Testing Day, and Alliance will be out in force encouraging New Yorkers to play their part in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Alliance will be conducting free and confidential testing and distributing over 6,000 safer sex kits at several Duane Reade/Walgreens locations; the organization’s headquarters in Midtown; and its community centers in East Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Lower East Side.
WHAT: Free HIV testing. Know your status. Early diagnosis is crucial to maintaining good health. Testing is free, confidential, and quick (less than an hour); and the Alliance provides counseling for treatment and prevention.
WHERE: Duane Reade/Walgreens stores at 300 W. 135th Street, 1 Penn Plaza, and 194 E. 2nd Street
WHEN Wednesday, June 27 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
And at Alliance locations (visit http://alliance.nyc/get-tested for times):
Alliance Midtown Central at 64 W. 35th Street, 3rd Floor
CASA Washington Heights at 2036 Amsterdam Avenue & 161st Street
Keith Haring Harlem Center at 315 E. 104th Street
Alliance LES Harm Reduction Center at 25 Allen Street
But HIV testing is not limited to National HIV Testing Day—Alliance provides free, confidential HIV testing year-round. This summer, the nonprofit aims to raise $5,000 through its Summer of Testing campaign to fund HIV testing and counseling services, so that all New Yorkers are armed with the information they need to live healthy and productive lives.
“Years ago, a positive HIV test result was a death sentence. That’s no longer the case. With early diagnosis, many can live long, healthy lives with HIV. We are still battling the stigma of a positive HIV test result, and that can deter people from getting tested. But to end this epidemic it’s imperative for everyone to know their status and be connected to early treatment and care—or prevention services,” said Sharen I. Duke, Executive Director & CEO of The Alliance for Positive Change.
There are more than 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV.
Disparities in new HIV infections by gender and race persist in New York City: In 2016, Black and Latina/Hispanic women comprised 90% of all new diagnoses among women, and nearly 65% of new HIV diagnoses among men were MSM of color.
It is estimated that one in seven infected Americans do not know they are infected. Young people are the most likely to be unaware of their HIV infection.
The goal is zero new infections. To get there, everyone—especially those at high risk like women and MSM of color—must be tested.
About The Alliance for Positive Change
The Alliance for Positive Change transforms lives of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. We help people access medical care, manage and overcome addiction, escape homelessness, get back to work, and find community. By addressing the underlying issues that contribute to poor health, Alliance’s individualized, full-service approach and harm reduction philosophy help New Yorkers lead healthier, more self-sufficient lives. At Alliance, we believe everyone deserves the chance to feel better, live better, and do better. Learn more at www.alliance.nyc.