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Community Organizations and Civic Leaders Rally at City Hall for $10m in NYC HIC/AIDS Funding to End the Epidemic

June 19, 2015

New York, NY (June 19, 2015) – Well over 100 HIV/AIDS activists, community leaders, and elected officials gathered outside City Hall yesterday to call for New York City to allocate $10 million for local HIV prevention and treatment programs that will advance New York State’s Blueprint to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2020.

Rally June 18The rally was organized by members of the End AIDS NY 2020 Coalition, which is made up of 60 organizations throughout New York State. The Coalition is asking New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council to match New York State’s contribution of $10 million toward the End the Epidemic initiative. The need for locally focused funding is essential, considering that 80 percent of state residents with HIV live in New York City. The additional funds—only a fraction of the city’s $78 billion budget—would be used to support programs to reduce the spread of HIV infection in local communities and provide people living with HIV with access to care, medications that make viral loads undetectable, and other treatment supports.

Organizations represented at the rally included Amida Care, which brought a large team of members and staff to show support for increased funding, Housing Works, Harlem United, VOCAL-NY, Iris House, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA), ACT UP, ACRIA, Callen Lorde, Bailey House, the Legal Action Center, and many others.

New York City Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson was among those who spoke passionately about the need for additional funding. “One year ago, Governor Cuomo announced the goal to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York by the year 2020. It’s time now for city government to step up to the plate and commit resources to support the plan,” he said. Noting that Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have been open and supportive and that budget decisions are imminent, Johnson added, “I think we have a fighting chance—but we have to keep fighting.”