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Press Releases

Marking World AIDS Day, NYC Health + Hospitals Reminds New Yorkers to Take Precautions Against and Get Tested for HIV

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst Earns $1 Million Grant to Become a "PEP Center for Excellence" and Joins #PlaySure Network
MetroPlus HIV Special Needs Plan Provides Conscientious Care and Services

Nov 29, 2016

New York, NY

To mark World AIDS Day on December 1, NYC Health + Hospitals is reminding New Yorkers to take precautions to reduce the chances of HIV transmission and prioritize their health by getting an HIV test. NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the nation, makes getting an HIV test fast, easy and confidential. Tests are available at all public hospitals and Gotham Health centers in the five boroughs.
As New York State’s largest provider of HIV primary care, NYC Health + Hospitals has tested more than two million people since 2005, made over 16,000 HIV diagnoses, and connected thousands of New Yorkers to the care they need.
“NYC Health + Hospitals has been a pioneer in the fight against HIV/AIDS for more than 30 years,” said Dr. Ram Raju, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “While we have made enormous progress over the decades, our patients still need help to be safe from the virus or to best manage their HIV-related health issues. So we remain fully committed to screening, prevention, and treatment services for all New Yorkers, regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status.”
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst Recognized as “PEP Center for Excellence”
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst received a $1 million grant from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to expand HIV prevention services for New Yorkers who are HIV negative but at risk for infection. The service expansion will earn Elmhurst’s HIV clinic “PEP Center of Excellence” status. Elmhurst, along with NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, has joined New York City’s #PlaySure Network, a group of clinics and community health organizations that encourage proactive sexual health decisions.
Elmhurst will leverage its experience and expertise to expand prevention services like HIV PEP (HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis), which is administered to prevent HIV infection after possible recent exposure, and HIV PrEP (HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis), a daily prevention method that can help HIV negative people reduce the risk of infection. The expanded services are scheduled to begin on January 1.
“We have worked with our emergency department to develop a streamlined approach to treating patients who present after possible HIV exposure,” said Dr. Maurice Policar, Chief of Infectious Diseases, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, on the clinic’s PEP strategy. “These patients will be followed in our program for the duration of their treatment and offered PrEP if appropriate.”
MetroPlusHealth HIV Special Needs Plan
NYC Health + Hospitals’ health insurance plan, MetroPlusHealth, one of the top-ranked health plans in New York City for almost 10 years, has the state’s largest HIV special needs plan that provides comprehensive and targeted medical and support services to New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. MetroPlusHealth HIV Special Needs Plan members are supported by a wellness team that includes a primary care provider who specializes in HIV. These clinical services are reinforced by community-based and culturally sensitive programs like peer-led support groups and education programs.
“It’s good for a recently diagnosed patient to have the opportunity to speak with someone who has been through this process,” said Wayne H., a peer educator at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and a MetroPlusHealth HIV Special Needs Plan member. “I’m proud of my work. I’m showing that an HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence.”