New York City (NYC) has the largest urban HIV epidemic in the western hemisphere. The NYC HIV surveillance registry includes 121,616 persons ever diagnosed and reported with HIV/AIDS in NYC and presumed to be living as of December 31, 2015. In 2015, 2,493 persons were newly diagnosed with HIV in NYC, a 58% decrease in annual diagnoses since full-year HIV reporting began in 2001. However, HIV continues to disproportionately affect certain NYC communities, including men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender persons, women of color, and Latinos and Blacks.
The Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control (BHIV) of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) proposes to build on its comprehensive and integrated HIV surveillance and prevention program to prevent new HIV infections; improve health outcomes for PLWH; and reduce related health disparities in NYC by using high-quality, timely, and complete surveillance and program data to guide HIV prevention efforts. As outlined in the proposal narrative and work plan, BHIV will implement its comprehensive and integrated program through multiple and diverse activities that are aligned with each of the 11 strategies as required by the NOFO.
As detailed in the Evaluation performance and monitoring plan (EPMP) and work plan, proposed activities will collectively achieve short-term outcomes such as improved monitoring of trends in HIV infection; improved completeness, timeliness, and quality of HIV surveillance and prevention program data; increased ability to describe the geographic distribution of HIV and understand the social determinants of health in relation to HIV and HIV-related health disparities; increased number of persons who are aware of their HIV status; increased referral of persons eligible for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); increased data security, confidentiality, and sharing. Intermediate outcomes to be achieved include increased early initiation of antiretroviral therapy among persons living with HIV; improved provision or coordination of perinatal HIV services; increased awareness in affected communities at risk for transmitting or acquiring HIV infection and strategies for reducing these risks; and improved targeting of HIV programs to address HIV-related health disparities.
BHIV’s HIV Prevention Program (HPP) and HIV Epidemiology and Field Services Program (HEFSP) have worked in tandem for over 30 years to reduce new HIV infections and improve outcomes for persons living with HIV. Surveillance data informs both overall prevention planning and resource allocation, and provides guidance to programs on targeting of services. BHIV’s organizational capacity to conduct the strategies outlined in this NOFO include its longstanding history of partnering with a diverse set of stakeholders within and outside the DOHMH, which help to inform the development and implementation of programmatic and advocacy activities. Additionally, BHIV’s extensive experience providing capacity building assistance to other international, federal, state, and local health departments has strengthened its relationships with other jurisdictions and has afforded BHIV the opportunity to share best practices and lessons learned with colleagues and partners on a national and global scale.