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New York launches new voluntary HIV testing initiative

12-02-2010 09:26 BJT

NEW YORK, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday a new initiative to make HIV testing a routine part of health care in the City's fight against HIV/AIDS.

The new initiative "Brooklyn Knows", a community-based testing effort that aims to help a half-million Brooklyn residents learn their HIV status over the next four years. It will build on the achievements of "The Bronx Knows", a city-led community partnership that has helped more than 400,000 Bronx residents get tested for HIV since its launch in 2008. "If you haven't had an HIV test, today is the perfect day to go and get one. Not only should the Bronx and Brooklyn know, but all New Yorkers should know," said Bloomberg during the launch ceremony to commemorate the World AIDS Day.

A total of nine hospitals, 13 community health centers and 23 faith-based and community-based organizations and various youth groups in Brooklyn will join the initiative to promote universal voluntary testing.

Since 2002, the number of New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV each year has fallen by a quarter to about 3,800, and annual death toll from HIV/AIDS is down by more than a third to 1,073 deaths in 2008, according to the government release.

Despite all of this progress, more than 107,000 New Yorkers are living with HIV/AIDS, and the condition disproportionately affects black and Hispanic New Yorkers, who account for more than 80 percent of new HIV diagnoses in New York City each year.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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