NY Links focuses on improving linkage to care and retention in care and supports the delivery of routine, timely, and effective care for Persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in New York State. We also bridge systemic gaps between HIV related services in order to achieve better outcomes for PLWHA through improving systems for monitoring, recording, and accessing information about HIV care in NYS. We use a regional approach, utilizing the learning collaborative model, to fortify the links holding together communities of practice, and the links grounding them in the communities of consumers they serve.
New York Links was created through a HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB)-sponsored Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS). Since September of 2015 it is under the Governor’s Ending the Epidemic Initiative through the NYSDOH AIDS Institute.
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New York State Ending the Epidemic Initiative
On June 29, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo detailed a three-point plan to move us closer to the end of the AIDS epidemic in New York State. The goal is to reduce the number of new HIV infections to just 750 (from an estimated 3,000) by 2020 and achieve the first ever decrease in HIV prevalence in New York State.
The three-point plan:
1. Identifies persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and link them to health care.
2. Links and retains persons diagnosed with HIV in health care to maximize virus suppression so they remain healthy and prevent further transmission.
3. Facilitates access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk persons to keep them HIV negative.
Ending the Epidemic (ETE) in New York State will maximize the availability of life-saving, transmission-interrupting treatment for HIV, saving lives and improving the health of New Yorkers. It will move New York from a history of having the worst HIV epidemic in the country to a future where new infections are rare and those living with the disease have normal lifespans with few complications. New York Links is a critical part of this work.
The Blueprint to End the Epidemic can be found here: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/ending_the_epidemic/docs/blueprint_executive_summary.pdf