As part of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day this Tuesday, the NYC Health Department is urging all at-risk New Yorkers to use condoms and to get tested for HIV.
“This day is an important call to action for all New Yorkers and I encourage everyone to do their part -- if you have ever had sex or injected drugs, make sure you know your HIV status,” said Health Commissioner of Health Thomas Farley. “The only way to know is to get tested.”
Though there was a 29 percent decline of new diagnoses of HIV in the city between 2002 and 2009, the gay community and other men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be the most severely impacted.
The NYC Department of Health reported that “a recent study of MSM in NYC showed that 53% of MSM who were found to be HIV positive through the study were not aware of their status. Additionally, in 2009 only 53% of MSM reported using a condom every time they had anal sex.”
To reduce the risk of contracting HIV and STDs, including syphilis, gonorrhea and herpes, the DOH recommends using a condom each time one has sex.
Any New Yorkers can get a free HIV test at one of the Health Department’s clinics. Free HIV testing for National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will be held in the following locations in the five boroughs:
• Bronx: Bronx Community College, Colston Hall Lobby, 2155 University Ave., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Brooklyn: Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, 1413 Fulton St., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Queens: AIDS Center Queens County, Club Evolution, 76-19 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, 10 p.m.-3 a.m., and ACQC, 89-74 162nd St., Seventh floor, Jamaica, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Manhattan: GHMC, 446 West 33rd St., Sixth floor cafeteria, Forum on HIV prevention and biomedical interventions, 6-8:30 p.m. HIV testing from 4-5 p.m. in mobile van at 33rd Street location and from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at 224 W. 29th street, ground floor
• Staten Island: LGBT Center, 25 Victory Blvd., Third floor, 1-8 p.m.
To find an HIV testing location near you for another day, call 311 or visit www.facebook.com/NYCKnows.
The Health Department will also host a forum to discuss new biomedical interventions and their impact on HIV prevention at 5:30pm at the GMHC, located at 446 West 33rd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), Sixth floor cafeteria.
To register, please visit http://hivpreventionforum.eventbrite.com.