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HIV Cases Increase Sharply in Oneida County

   Preliminary data from the New York State Department of Health shows that 21 Oneida County residents were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2015-2016.   This is a significant increase.  In the four previous years, the average number of new diagnoses annually in Oneida County was 12.  
   The newly identified HIV cases included 12 men and 9 women with an age range of 17-57 years.  Notably, seven were women under the age of 25.  On average women and girls represent 20% of all new HIV infections.  The new Oneida County statistics were more than double that rate for women and girls.  
   State health department staff are completing follow-up with partners of persons who were newly diagnosed to encourage them to receive testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted conditions and also working to ensure all newly diagnosed persons are linked to care and offered treatment.


National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

   News of the spike in new HIV cases renewed urgency of mission as ACR Health convened a National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event at the Radisson in Utica with a focus to curb HIV infections in women and girls.  
Event organizer Johanna Johnson, ACR Health Prevent Health Advocate (standing at right in red dress) was delighted about high participation rate at the Utica event, saying, “The speakers were amazing, the personal testimonies were deep and moving.”
   ACR Health’s Safety First Outreach encourages women and teenage girls in the Mohawk Valley to learn about the risks of HIV/AIDS and take action to protect their health, including getting tested for HIV and taking prevention medication.  ACR Health is a source of information and youth friendly services that provides comprehensive sexual health education and safer sex supplies, as well as access to HIV/HCV/STD testing and screening.  ACR Health links adult clients with other prevention services, such as PrEP, a once daily pill that prevents HIV.
   ACR Health would like to thank CareNet, Center for Family and Life Recovery, Insight House, Johnson Park, Milestones, Planned Parenthood, Resource Center of Independent Living, SUNY DAC, Women’s Employment Resource Center, and YWCA Mohawk Valley for their collaboration in presenting Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  Special thanks to Bite Bakery and Holland Farms for supplying refreshments and to Avon, Hair Connection, NYR Organics, Pampered Chef,


Women and HIV/AIDS
•    280,000 women in the United States are living with HIV/AIDS,
•    38,840 of them are in New York – more than any other state
•    Women of color make up 90 percent of New York women living with HIV/AIDS 
•    Most women were diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 49 
•    Most significant factor associated with transmission was heterosexual contact (84%) along with injection drug use (16%)


March 10, 2016