According to Mayor Miner, the task force, a consortium of more than 20 healthcare and social service providers that are working alongside government agencies to reduce new cases of HIV/AIDS by the year 2020, has currently connected nearly 600 individuals to care management services, performed more than 1,500 HIV tests, and helped over 150 individuals gain access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“Since the 1980s, our country, and our communities, have been ravaged by the scourge of HIV/AIDS,” the mayor stated. “No one can erase the haunting images of fearless men and women suffering from a disease with no known cause, and no known cure. We have made such great strides since those dark days, and I am proud that Syracuse is working to create a city without HIV/AIDS. We have already seen the impressive accomplishments of our ‘End the Epidemic’ task force, including increasing the number of at-risk people taking PrEP treatments, and connecting those with HIV/AIDS to treatment services. I look forward to their continued achievements, as we work to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
According to Miner, another of the program’s notable accomplishments has been an increase in the number of HIV positive people whose condition is now considered undetectable, which is a metric signifying that, after the appropriate treatment, those individuals would be unlikely to further spread the virus.
Syracuse’s viral suppression rate is currently 72 percent.
The next major goals of the group are to expand outreach for HIV testing, including working on seeking more testing at public events, and circulating information among high-risk populations about testing services. The task force will also establish a working group focused on data analytics and evaluation to determine the success of its continued efforts.
Miner said partner organizations presently affiliated with the group have performed over 1,500 HIV screenings, representing an 118 percent increase from last year.
“We have already achieved so much through the ‘End the Epidemic’ task force, and our community is seeing lives saved every day because of their efforts,” the mayor stated. “Their work will continue to make a difference in the city of Syracuse for years to come, and I thank those involved in this endeavor for their commitment to ending HIV/AIDS in the city of Syracuse.”