UTICA – ACR Health held a service of life and remembrance At Grace Episcopal Church Friday, in honor of World AIDS Day.
Locals came out to the event to commemorate World AIDS Day, and to celebrate the lives of those lost to AIDS.
ACR staff say it is their goal to end the epidemic locally, and they want the public to know that the deadly disease can be contained.
“The Governor put a challenge out to all of us that we're going to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020,” said Carrie Large, Deputy Executive Director of Operations. “So we need to come together. We need to have those discussions. People need to get tested. They need to know what PREP is. So we have to continue to have conversations with our community members, especially with our kids."
According to ACR Health, over 200 thousand New Yorkers have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS since its discovery in 1981.
There are currently more than 100 thousand New Yorkers living with the disease today.
ACR Health tells us that a key to ending the epidemic is the PREP pill, which prevents HIV transmission.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a 16 percent decrease in HIV diagnoses within the last three years.
"Once the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS crisis, we have made tremendous progress toward mitigating the impact of the disease in New York, and we will continue to do everything in our power to save lives, reduce transmissions and forge a path toward eliminating HIV/AIDS for the rest of the world to follow," Governor Cuomo said. "Thanks to our aggressive public health initiatives that attack the disease from all angles, we are on track to meet our nation-leading goals and end the epidemic."
While the number of New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV have fallen to historic lows, Gov. Cuomo will continue to launch initiatives in support of a “zero AIDS mortality” goal by the end of 2020.