GMHC Recognizes World AIDS Day and NYC AIDS Memorial
GMHC released the following statement acknowledging World AIDS Day on December 1st, a time of mourning, remembrance, and hope for a brighter future.
This afternoon, elected officials, LGBT organizations and advocates attended the dedication of the New York City AIDS Memorial on Greenwich Avenue at 7th Avenue. At 6 p.m., a candlelight vigil and remembrance gathering is being hosted by the Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan (164 West 100th Street). Finally, at 7 p.m., long term survivors of HIV (those living with HIV for 20+ years) will gather at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South) for an evening of readings and performances by long term survivors.
"The year 2016 has marked the 35th year of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and on World AIDS Day, the long-awaited NYC AIDS Memorial will be dedicated. It is not a coincidence that the memorial was constructed on the site of the now-closed St. Vincent's Hospital, which was one of the first responders to this epidemic. The memorial is also approximately six blocks from the home of one of GMHC's founders, Larry Kramer," said Louie.
"We are grateful, yet mournful that so many people connected to GMHC will now be honored at the memorial. For us, the memorial will be a place of reflection and remembrance as we move forward with an unfaltering commitment to end the epidemic in New York State by 2020. That commitment is providing results no one ever imagined we would see," he continued. "In New York City, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses has fallen below 2,500 for the first time in the history of the epidemic, and there were no HIV infections diagnosed among infants born in NYC in 2015."
"We still have a tremendous amount of work to do across the country, both in terms of preventing the virus and treating those living with it; however, I believe our darkest days are behind us. This World AIDS Day, we will be reminded of what is at stake - and what it will take to move forward in our efforts to create an AIDS free generation," Louie concluded.
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the nation's leading provider of HIV/AIDS care, prevention services and advocacy, serving nearly 10,000 people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in New York City, the epicenter of the epidemic in the U.S. As the world's first HIV and AIDS service organization, GMHC is an expert in providing services that every person affected by the epidemic deserves.
GMHC is on the front lines caring for people who are both HIV negative and positive, including: testing, nutrition, legal, mental health and education services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal level with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020.
Most recently, GMHC and other HIV and AIDS organizations successfully persuaded the federal government to recommend widespread use of PrEP, a new daily treatment that is over 90 percent effective in preventing HIV infection.
For more information, visit www.gmhc.org.
This story is part of our special report titled "World AIDS Day 2016." Want to read more? Here's the full list.