Ending the HIV epidemic across the state is a collaborative effort, and recent data statewide and in the Hudson Valley indicates that progess is being made.
"The work in order to be responsive as you saw in the data is a complement of our partnerships between city between state between elected officials and our community stakeholders," said Johanne Morne, director of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.
The department of health held a summit on Wednesday in Albany to connect those involved in combating the epidemic with new information and resources. Morne says that working with communities and identifying needs, as well as understanding social and structural challenges and barriers for different communities, is a major part of their work.
"It's our responsibility, as I talked about, for us to look for those opportunities not only to provide access to care, but to be sure we create environments that are welcoming and responsive to the people who most need access to prevention and healthcare support," said Morne.
In the Hudson Valley, providing that access to care falls to many organizations, including Hudson Valley Community Services. In the mid-Hudson region, the trends for new HIV infections are hopeful.
"The news for HIV infections in the Hudson Valley is that the rate of infection is finally going down," said J. Dewey, public relations & resource enhancement director for Hudson Valley Community Services.