On World AIDS Day Tuesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said...

On World AIDS Day Tuesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the rate of HIV infections statewide has continued a five-year downward trend.   Credit: AFP via Getty Images/PRAKASH MATHEMA

Fewer New York residents were diagnosed with HIV last year than in 2018, continuing a five-year downward trend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday as he marked World AIDS DAY.

According to a statement released from Cuomo’s office, new confirmed HIV diagnosis in 2019 reached an all-time low of 2,377, a 4% drop from 2,472 cases in 2018. Officials said the 2019 numbers also represent a reduction of more than 30% from when the state began tracking HIV cases in 2014 after launching the "Ending the Epidemic" campaign, also known as ETE.

"Today is World AIDS Day and I know everyone has been consumed with the COVID pandemic, but we've also been consumed with ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic," Cuomo said in the statement. "Now more than ever, with states facing steep deficits as a result of COVID, the federal government must provide funding so we can continue supporting the lifesaving work of HIV/AIDS service providers."

The latest HIV figures, along with those for estimated HIV infections, which the state also said were at all-time lows in 2019, will be released during New York’s Fifth Annual ETE Summit, which began Tuesday and runs through Thursday, officials said. This year’s event is being held virtually.

Data from 2019 also shows that 83% of new HIV patients in the state received care within 30 days of their diagnosis.

New York has been a national model in improving care for residents diagnosed with HIV, said Georgette Beal, senior vice president for planning and grants management and community impact at United Way Long Island. The ETE campaign is effective, she said, because it involves numerous stakeholders who come together to find solutions.

The reduction in numbers prove it, Beal said.

"There’s definitely an improvement in a couple of fronts, the number of new infections are down," she said. "The number of people in care increased. And the quality of services has drastically improved."

Advocates have said there are nearly 5,800 residents living with HIV/AIDS on Long Island, which is among the highest number in any suburban area nationally and more than in 26 states.

Much like the sharp decline in diagnosed HIV cases statewide, New York City officials also touted a significant reduction Tuesday. The New York City Health Department said in a statement that 1,772 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2019, down 8% from the previous year, and a decrease of about 70 % from 2001.

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