State Department of Health Releases HIV/AIDS Annual Surveillance Report Showing Progress to Reduce HIV Infections; Continued Need for Equitable Care

Newly Diagnosed HIV Infections Have Decreased 37 Percent Since 2014

State Landmarks and Bridges To Be Illuminated in Red Honoring World AIDS Day

Read Proclamation Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a proclamation recognizing World AIDS Day in New York State on December 1 and recommitted to ending the AIDS epidemic in New York State by the end of 2024. Coinciding with this recognition, the New York State Department of Health released its 2021 HIV/AIDS Annual Surveillance Report showing both the progress being made to reduce HIV infections statewide and the work that remains to ensure all New Yorkers living with this disease receive the equitable care they deserve. The Governor also announced that state landmarks and bridges will be illuminated in red on December 1 to honor all those who have battled HIV and AIDS.

“While we’ve made significant progress to reduce HIV infections across New York, there is more work to be done to end the epidemic,” Governor Hochul said. “On World AIDS Day, we mourn those who we have lost, honor the New Yorkers fighting this disease, and recommit our efforts to ending this epidemic in our state once and for all.”

There were 2,123 individuals newly diagnosed with HIV in 2021 – a 37 percent decrease since the state began Ending the Epidemic, the three-point plan aimed at achieving the first ever decrease in HIV prevalence in New York. Racial disparities, however, continue to present barriers, with more diagnoses concentrated in communities of color.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Today we remember the lives that we have lost to HIV and AIDS and honor the individuals who’ve championed advances in treatment and compassionate care. Ending the epidemic remains a top priority for the Department of Health. Governor Hochul understands this call to action, and I look forward to our continued work together to ensure people can access the care they need to live long, healthy lives.”

Along with the Annual Surveillance Report, the DOH also issued HIV Care Cascades in both English and Spanish, and the Linkage to Care report, which collectively provide summary data of New Yorkers newly diagnosed with HIV and those living with diagnosed HIV throughout the state. The release of these reports, along with updates to the state’s Ending the Epidemic dashboard, summarize key metrics and are a capstone to the work performed every day by the state’s front-line community-based, clinical, and public health workforce.

Additionally, Governor Hochul announced that 15 landmarks and bridges across New York State will be illuminated in red tonight in observance of World AIDS Day:

  • One World Trade Center
  • Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
  • Kosciuszko Bridge
  • The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building
  • State Education Building
  • Alfred E. Smith State Office Building
  • Empire State Plaza
  • State Fairgrounds – Main Gate & Expo Center
  • Niagara Falls
  • The “Franklin D. Roosevelt” Mid-Hudson Bridge
  • Grand Central Terminal – Pershing Square Viaduct
  • Albany International Airport Gateway
  • MTA LIRR – East End Gateway at Penn Station
  • Fairport Lift Bridge over the Erie Canal
  • Moynihan Train Hall

New York State continues to have the highest percent of pre-exposure prophylaxis coverage in the nation, and more people receiving it than any other jurisdiction besides California, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2021, more than 44,000 New Yorkers filled at least one prescription for PrEP, which is 13 times more than the number of prescriptions for this prophylaxis in 2014.

Persistent challenges remain and are often rooted in unequal access to care, social determinants of health, and stigma. Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations account for 34 percent of the state population, yet 74 percent of new HIV diagnoses, while non-Hispanic White individuals make up 55 percent of the state population and 20 percent of new diagnoses. Racial disparities have accounted for over 50,000 new HIV diagnoses in New York State.

From 2020 to 2021, the percentage of people living with HIV who received medical care increased to 88 percent. Yet during this same time, there was a decrease in newly diagnosed individuals linked to care within 30 days of diagnosis – a critical first step to getting the viral suppression needed to eliminate the chances of sexually transmitting the disease.

In response to these challenges, the DOH AIDS Institute is providing more than $52 million to bolster community programs dedicated to ending the epidemic efforts. To assist New Yorkers living with HIV achieve optimal health outcomes, the AIDS Institute funds providers to address social determinants of health through supportive services such as the provision of non-medical case management, health education/risk reduction, food bank/home delivered meals, medical transportation, housing, emergency financial assistance, and psychosocial support, and benefits counseling.

The AIDS Institute’s New York State Certified Peer Worker Program also plays a key role in reducing stigma in health care settings, community-based organizations, and within the community. This program was recently augmented include an HIV- and aging-specific concentration with the goal of enhancing the skills of certified peers specialized in HIV work who provide services to or with this growing population.

In addition, DOH launched People Aging with HIV to help improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV who are over the age of 50. Launched in September, this pilot program will provide $4 million over five years for the provision of healthcare and supportive services that promote the overall health and well-being of people 50 or older and living with diagnosed HIV.

DOH’s Uninsured Care Program also provides a critical component of the Ending the Epidemic initiative by providing coverage for uninsured and underinsured New Yorkers living with HIV. Roughly 22,620 New Yorkers are actively enrolled, including 2,114 new enrollments this year, with 97 percent of participants who were active in the program for at least a year are in care and 93 percent being virally suppressed.

Links to find confidential HIV testing and information on resources for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in New York State can be found on the DOH’s website.