Target: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Goal: Praise aggressive new plan to combat the AIDs epidemic
On the 45th anniversary of the historic Stonewall riots, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his plan for reducing HIV infection in New York to below epidemic levels by the end of the decade by aggressively working to prevent new HIV diagnoses, extend AIDs treatment to more people, and reduce deaths. Commend his valuable efforts to eradicate the disease and improve the quality of life of those who are currently living with its effects.
Along with San Francisco and other major U.S. cities, New York City has been one of the hardest hit by the global HIV/AIDS crisis that has killed an estimated 36 million people over the past three decades. Although advances in medicine and improved access to sexual health information have helped to significantly slow the progression of the disease, 3,000 New Yorkers are expected to be diagnosed with HIV this year alone. Governor Cuomo plans to reduce this number to only 750 people a year by the end of the decade.
Of the estimated 154,000 New Yorkers infected with HIV, 22,000 do not know and may be unintentionally passing along the virus. The first step in Cuomo’s plan is to identify these carriers and offer them testing and treatment, preventing the virus from spreading any further.
The second part is extending treatment to the 64,000 New Yorkers who are not receiving medications. To do this, Cuomo has negotiated with three companies who produce anti-HIV drugs to receive bulk discounts for those who normally cannot afford them.
New York State is taking an impressive, though long-overdue step towards an AIDs-free future. New York is poised to set a standard for how to aggressively counteract HIV/AIDs and other infectious diseases.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
Thank you for your unrelenting dedication to ending the AIDs epidemic in New York for good. Your aggressive new plan to reduce new infections to 750 a year by 2020 prioritizes the health and wellbeing of some of New York’s most vulnerable and historically disenfranchised populations.
Your plan to reduce new infections, extend antiviral treatments to those living with HIV, and boost testing is the first of its kind. Although the efforts of community organizers have been providing these services for years, yours is the first concentrated, widespread political intervention at the state level.
You have set a new global standard for preventing transmission and treating those who are already infected, an aggressive and uncompromising model that will improve the lives of thousands across the state and save the lives of thousands more. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ChristianHeldt via Wikipedia Commons