Do you have ideas about what Mayor Bill de Blasio can do to end HIV/AIDS in New York City? RSVP here for a community town hall on November 15 from 3 – 4:45pm at Duarte Square (Canal Street & 6th Avenue in Manhattan) to help shape the de Blasio administration’s HIV/AIDS agenda.
We also encourage you to download a flier or poster for the event and help spread the word. A list of organizations co-sponsoring the town hall is listed below (email Jason Walker at jason (at) vocal-ny.org to add your organization if it isn’t already listed!).
We are at a major turning point in the fight to stop HIV. We now have the knowledge and means to end the epidemic in New York City. Advocates are already calling on Governor Cuomo to announce a statewide plan to end HIV/AIDS in early 2014, and President Obama has committed to achieving an “AIDS-free generation” in recent years. We need to make sure Mayor de Blasio knows what New York City can do to end the epidemic. Can you join hundreds of people living with HIV/AIDS, service providers and allies for this participatory town hall on Friday, November 15th?
The town hall will be part of a series of events called Talking Transition that will pioneer the first “open” transition in New York City, transforming the usual closed-door process between Election Day and Inauguration into an opportunity for broad public engagement. The New York Times called it “an ambitious citywide effort…to enlist regular New Yorkers in sharing their views about the city’s future.”
There’s reason for optimism when it comes to fighting HIV, but we have a lot of work to do. Over 1,700 homeless people living with AIDS sleep in HASA shelters every night, and thousands more don’t even qualify for housing assistance because of their CD4 count or immigration status. The CDC estimates that if current trends continue, half of young gay men will have HIV by age 50, with Black and Latino youth at greatest risk. People with a history of injection drug use continue to account for a larger share of HIV/AIDS deaths each year than any other group.
The good news is we know what works, we just need to put it into practice. Responding to people who doubted whether we can really end the epidemic, the nation’s top HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Tony Fauci said last year, “Any argument that this cannot be achieved because we do not have evidence-based tools is no longer valid.” Our city has borne the highest burden of HIV since the beginning of the epidemic, but it’s also where activism, community responses and scientific innovation has shown we can turn the tide.
If you have questions, or if your organization wants to join the growing list of co-sponsors for this event, please contact Jason Walker at (917) 200-1153 or jason (at) vocal-ny.org.
Organizational co-sponsors (list in formation): ACRIA, ACT UP New York, African Services Committee, AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC), AIDS Service Center, Ali Forney Center, Bailey House, BOOM!Health, Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Community Health Action of Staten Island, Diaspora, Family Services Network of New York, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), FIERCE!, Forging Ahead for Community Empowerment & Support New York (FACES NY), Friends House, Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), GMHC, Harlem United, Harm Reduction Coalition, Housing and Services, Inc. (HSI), Housing Works, Iris House, Latino Commission on AIDS, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center, New York Harm Reduction Educators, Partnership for the Homeless, Praxis Housing Initiatives, Inc, Project Achieve, Project Hospitality, Queerocracy, Safe Horizon/Streetwork Project, Treatment Action Group, Village Care, VOCAL-NY and Washington Heights CORNER Project.