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County Executive Bellone Announces Suffolk County Resources And Testing Centers In Recognition Of World Aids Day 2017

LongIsland.com

Bellone: "Suffolk County is at the forefront of combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic by educating our residents and providing all the necessary tools and resources."

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Photo by: Suffolk County

Suffolk County, NY - November 30, 2017 - County Executive Bellone today announced that Suffolk County will join millions of people across the globe in observing December 1 as World AIDS Day.  This year’s global theme, "Increasing Impact Through Transparency, Accountability,” highlights the historic opportunity to accelerate progress toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health threat in the United States and around the world.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and one in seven of them don’t know it. In Suffolk County, 2,972 people were living with HIV or AIDS and 94 were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2015, according to New York State HIV/AIDS Surveillance Annual Report for Cases Diagnosed through December 2015.
 
“Suffolk County is at the forefront of combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic by educating our residents and providing all the necessary tools and resources that can be accessed through our Department of Health Services and partners,” said County Executive Bellone. “I am proud of the leadership and commitment that our Department of Health Services displays in addressing all forms of public health crisis to keep our residents safe and informed.”
 
According to CDC, there has been impressive movement in HIV prevention through viral load suppression and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill for that prevents HIV. The agency reports that HIV is being diagnosed sooner after infection than had been reported several years ago. However, 40 percent of new HIV infections originate from people who don’t know they have HIV.
 
Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health, said, “The news is both encouraging and challenging. With viral suppression and PrEP, we have the tools we need to stop the spread of HIV; however, too many people have HIV infections that go undiagnosed for too long. I encourage healthcare professionals to make HIV testing as routine as a cholesterol check and to integrate PrEP into routine preventive health care for adult patients—particularly in primary care, reproductive health, and behavioral health settings.”
 
Gay and bisexual men accounted for 82 percent of HIV diagnoses among males and 67 percent of all diagnoses. African American gay and bisexual men accounted for the largest number of HIV diagnoses followed by white gay and bisexual men.
 
CDC recommends testing all people ages 13-64 for HIV at least once in their lifetime, and people at higher risk for HIV at least annually. Healthcare providers may find it beneficial to test some sexually active gay and bisexual men more frequently (e.g., every three to six months).
  
World AIDS Day 2017 events and testing centers in Suffolk County include:
 
Central Islip: Community Mobilization
Friday, December 1, 2017, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of Long Island
Tabernaculo de Avlvamiento, 238 Poplar St., Central Islip, NY 11722
Contact: Johnny Mora: jmora@nblca.org
LIAAC will be administering HIV test
 
Brentwood: Community Health Fair
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of Long Island
General Consulate of El Salvador, 151 Alkier St., Brentwood, NY 11717
Contact: Johnny Mora: jmora@nblca.org
LIAAC will be administering HIV test
 
Brentwood: Commemoration and Film Viewing
Friday, December 1st, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
HRHCare Health Center at Brentwood, 1869 Brentwood Rd., Brentwood, NY 
“End AIDS Now”
The commemoration and ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. View various art displays and a wall of remembrance. A viewing of the film, How To Survive A Plague will begin at 1 p.m. To RSVP, contact: Maria Mezzatesta at 631-716-9026 ext. 83013 or mmezzatesta@hrhcare.org, or Felix Ruiz, LMSW at 631-416-5480 x 87083
              
Testing and Resources:
 
Suffolk County Family Health Centers
Suffolk County Department of Health Services is affiliated with nine family health centers located in Amityville, Brentwood, Greenlawn, Coram, Southampton, Patchogue, Riverhead, Shirley, and Wyandanch. The health centers offer HIV testing services, education and treatment. For contact information for the health centers, visit http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/PatientCare/HealthCenters.aspx
 
LIAAC: AIDS Education and Testing Initiative
The Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC) is a community-based, not-for-profit agency that provides services and support for Long Islanders infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and at high risk for HIV infection and other infectious diseases. Staff refers and link clients to medical treatment, supportive services, and assists them with navigating through the social services and health care system.  LIAAC offers case management, a hotline for Long Islanders looking for AIDS-related services, and testing –including rapid HIV, Hepatitis C and STIs (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis) testing --throughout the year on its mobile van. Call on the hotline 1-877-865-4222 to ask the mobile van to visit your neighborhood. For more information on LIAAC, visit http://www.liaac.org/hiv-aids-hotline.php
 
LIAAC World AIDS Day Testing on College Campuses
LIAAC testers will be testing throughout Suffolk County in the community and on the all the Suffolk County Community College campuses, at Farmingdale State College and at Stony Brook University throughout the first two weeks of December in recognition of World AIDS Day. 
 
LIGALY
LIGALY offers free, quick, and confidential HIV/STI testing at its community centers across Long Island. Get results in as little as 20 minutes, by appointment or during drop-in hours. Free condoms are available, as well.
Where: The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore, NY
When: Drop-In Hours are every Wednesday from 5:00pm – 8:00pm and every second Friday of the month from 7:00pm – 9:00pm (ages 13-21 only).
Where: 44 Union St., Sag Harbor, NY
When: Call for an appointment
 
For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 631.665.2300 or email testing@liglbtnetwork.org. If you are unable to travel, LIGALY can come to you. Its discreet mobile testing van is outfitted to facilitate testing.
 
See more at: http://lgbtnetwork.org/content/fighting-hivstis#sthash.jACYXRGd.dpuf
 
HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locators
NYS Testing site information
https://gettested.cdc.gov/
 
Social Media
Join your neighbors by observing World AIDS Day on social media; use the hashtag #WAD2017.
 
For more information on World AIDS Day follow HIV.gov and PEPFAR.gov.
 
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