World AIDS Day is Tuesday, December 1, an international day of observance focused on increasing awareness and knowledge of HIV and AIDS, speaking out against HIV stigma, mourning those we have lost, and calling for a continued response to ending the HIV epidemic. This year, COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated how closely health is interlinked with critical issues such as systemic racism and socio-economic inequality, mirroring and compounding the disproportionate effect of HIV on underserved communities.
We must not lose ground in the treatment and prevention of HIV. Amida Care recently released the policy brief “A Pandemic and an Epidemic: COVID-19 and Ending HIV in New York,” detailing the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on New York’s effort to end the HIV epidemic. The report includes recommendations for public health agencies, health plans and providers, and all New Yorkers on ways to increase PrEP uptake, strengthen Medicaid, and break down barriers to access for HIV prevention and treatment.
Despite the devastating effects of Covid-19 on our health care system, we have the opportunity to learn from this crisis and refocus efforts to achieve our goal of Ending the HIV Epidemic in New York and across the U.S. Working together, government agencies, health plans, providers and individuals can all help us to achieve an HIV-free future.
New York State AIDS Institute Virtual Event
On December 1 – 3, New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute will hold its 22nd Annual World AIDS Day (WAD) Event and the 2020 Ending the Epidemic (ETE) Summit virtually. This year’s theme is “The Story of Ending the Epidemic: Past, Present, and Future,” highlighting stories and testimonies of determination, courage, hope, and progress that New Yorkers continue to demonstrate, despite this year’s challenges.
The ETE Summit will include keynote speakers, breakout sessions, virtual networking and poster presentations. Amida Care will present a talk by Zil Goldstein, Associate Medical Director for TGNB Health at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center: “Fostering Whole-Person, Gender-Affirming Transgender Care: What Providers and Health Plans Can Do”. Amida Care will also be presenting six posters, including “Identifying Factors Related to Unsuppressed Viral Load among Older People Living with HIV: A Preliminary Report” and “SARS-CoV-2 Infection in People Living With HIV in New York City Enrolled in a Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan: Documented Cases and Clinical Outreach.”
Register for free here.
New York City End AIDS NY 2020 Coalition Virtual Event
On December 1, the End AIDS NY 2020 Coalition is co-hosting the free virtual event Extraordinary Measures in the Face of Two Pandemics, along with over 60 organizations (including Amida Care) in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York State Department of Health. Guest speakers include activists and leadership from local HIV organizations, along with leaders from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the NYS Department of Health. RSVP here.
Other World AIDS Day Activities
- On Tuesday, Dec. 1, DBGM, Inc. will present a special World AIDS Day screening of the documentary “You Are Not Alone,” about the issues impacting Black gay men’s mental health, followed by a discussion about HIV in LGBTQ communities of color. Free registration: https://2020wad.eventbrite.com
- The NYC AIDS Memorial at St. Vincent’s Triangle in Greenwich Village is presenting Hear Me: Voices of the Epidemic, a new open-space experiential sound-and-light installation that will run for 30 consecutive evenings beginning on Tuesday, December 1. The approximately hour-long soundtrack is composed of historical texts, poetry, speeches, music, and more that capture the history of the epidemic. https://nycaidsmemorial.org/hear-me/
- An online revival of the celebrated series of songs and monologues Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, starring Broadway, television and film favorites, will stream on Broadway on Demand at 5 pm on Tuesday, December 1. The virtual production, featuring 50 performers, will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. https://broadwaycares.org/pre-event/elegies-for-angels-punks-and-raging-queens/