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AIDS Public Awareness Campaign Expands Following Report Of Rapidly Progressive HIV

State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today announced the expansion of New York State's HIV/AIDS Public Awareness and Education campaign to help combat the potential spread of HIV and further protect New Yorkers from the virus that causes AIDS.

Dr. Novello said, "In light of recent reports of a drug-resistant, rapidly progressive strain of HIV in New York City, we must continue to reinforce critical HIV prevention messages to help New Yorkers protect themselves. Although, at this point, this is the only case of its kind we know of, it provides us with an opportunity to reaffirm our approach to combating the virus, protecting confidentiality of patients and easing any concerns among New Yorkers."

This week, Dr. Novello sent letters to HIV/AIDS service providers and physicians statewide highlighting key public health messages and the importance of garnering the participation of people with HIV in aiding New York in this effort. The Department is examining other potential responses to the current situation, including examining ways to better monitor HIV drug-resistant strains in the population and further strengthening access to HIV counseling and testing.

Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported a highly resistant strain of rapidly progressive HIV diagnosed in a New York City resident. The patient is a male in his mid-40s who reported multiple male sex partners and unprotected sex, often while using crystal methamphetamine.

At the direction of Governor George E. Pataki, the State Health Department is expanding its $2.2 million HIV/AIDS marketing and media campaign to run additional HIV counseling and testing promotions in New York City, Long Island and Buffalo. The "Project Wave" television announcements, which will begin running shortly, focus on HIV prevention and the importance of people knowing their HIV status. The Department will spend up to an additional
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Source:New York State Department Of Health


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