SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Since 1988, December 1 has been recognized as World AIDS day, a day to show support for the thousands of people around the world still living with HIV AIDS.
In Schenectady, the City Hall clock tower will be lit red for the entire month of December, to honor those who have died from AIDS and those still fighting the disease today. It’s a disease that was first reported as a mysterious illness 35 years ago.
According to the CDC, more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S.A., but 1 in 8 of them doesn’t know it.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020. He says researchers have achieved some milestones.
During an 18-month period there were no cases of HIV transmission from a mother to a child. And in just one year, from 2013 to 2014, the number of people with HIV AIDS in the State who achieved viral suppression increased by 6,000.
This week, Governor Cuomo took steps to build on that progress.
The Governor signed legislation to remove age barriers to HIV testing and other sexually transmitted infections, to increase access to preventative care and treatment, and to expand access to information and data for researchers.
Governor Cuomo also proposed statewide initiatives to expand access to life-saving HIV services for youth patients. He also set a goal for the of 2020: zero deaths from AIDS and zero HIV transmissions through injection drug use.
Governor Cuomo said the following in a news release:
“With these aggressive new actions and new, far-reaching goals, we will continue to do everything in our power to end the AIDS epidemic in New York and forge a path for the rest of the world to follow.”
There is still no cure for aids, but multiple vaccines are being tested around the world.