Amida Care and Advocates Rally to Prevent Devastating State Cuts to NYC Health, HIV, and STD Programs
February 23 2017
New York, NY (February 23, 2017)— Amida Care, members of the End AIDS NY 2020 Community Coalition, and health advocates rallied at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NYC office today to demand that the Governor and Legislature restore $22 million in cuts to NYC public health programs in this year’s final New York State budget. The burden of these cuts would hit the City’s newly launched Sexual Health Clinics as well as its successful Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic (EtE) initiative, which achieved an 8.3% decrease in new HIV diagnoses in 2015.
The Governor’s Executive Budget proposed a change in the Article 6 formula that will reduce reimbursement for local government public health spending in NYC by 7%. The End AIDS NY 2020 Community Coalition estimates that this will result in an $11 million cut to the City health budget this year, and $22 million over two years, with the majority of these cuts falling on City EtE and STD Programs. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene estimates an even higher annual loss of $32.5 million to essential public health programs. The Article 6 cut will directly and dramatically impede Ending the AIDS Epidemic efforts, especially given that NYC accounts for roughly 80% of the annual new HIV infections statewide.
The cuts would also affect a number of other critical NYC health services, including Zika virus initiatives, anti-smoking campaigns, flu vaccinations, communicable disease oversight, drinking water testing, asthma counseling, and drug overdose prevention efforts.
End AIDS NY 2020 Community Coalition and allied NYC health advocates are now calling on the Legislature to work with the Governor’s Office to restore this funding and to ensure that the Ending the AIDS Epidemic plan continues to receive the support it needs for New York to succeed in ending AIDS as an epidemic by 2020.