Posts Tagged ‘Awareness’

World Hepatitis Day

Thursday, June 29th, 2023

World Hepatitis Day 2023A person dies every 30 seconds from hepatitis-related illness somewhere in the world. This liver disease has a variety of causes but viral infection is a main factor. This year’s World Hepatitis Day theme is “We’re not waiting.” We call on people around the world to take action because Hepatitis Can’t Wait. Our HVCS division offers free Hepatitis C testing, linkage to services, and walks you through a short course of medications that cure Hep C. Learn more about hepatitis and this program here.

New Mpox Awareness Campaign for Summer ’23

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

On Monday, May 1, 2023, the New York State Department of Health debuted a new Mpox awareness campaign and health advisory. Cases of Mpox are currently low in our area, but the NYSDOH issued this update to stave off a resurgence during warmer weather. Mpox is spread primarily through personal contact with an infected person, and we all know that personal contact is more likely in summer (temperatures climb, people emerge from their homes, and clothes tend to come off).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also predicts that Mpox cases could resurge because the target populations have low immunity.

Vaccines against Mpox are available. Contact our Mpox Wellness Coaching program for assistance in receiving a two-dose vaccine.

What’s New

New York has added Mpox to its list of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This means that Mpox care, specifically vaccination, is available to adolescents under the age of 18 without requiring parental consent.


The JYNNEOS vaccine is approved by the FDA and requires two doses, administered 28 days apart, in order to be most effective. One dose, though, is better than zero.

Vaccines are recommended for:

  • Those with known or suspected exposure to someone with Mpox
  • Those with a sex partner in the previous two weeks who was diagnosed with Mpox
  • Those who identify as gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, as well as transgender, nonbinary, or gender-diverse person who in the past six months has had any of the following:
    • A new diagnosis of one or more STIs (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis)
    • More than one sex partner
  • Those who have had any of the following in the past six months:
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue (e.g., sex club or bathhouse)
    • Sex related to a large commercial event or in a geographic area (e.g., city or country) where Mpox transmission is occurring
    • Persons living with HIV (PLWH) or other causes of immune suppression who had recent or anticipate future risk of Mpox exposure from any of the above scenarios
  • Those who engage in transactional sex (exchanging sex for money, drugs or other valuables)
  • Those who have or anticipate attending private or public sex parties

Our Mpox Wellness Coaching can connect you with a vaccine provider at Cornerstone Family Healthcare or a Health Department near you.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

If you believe you were exposed to Mpox and did not get a vaccine yet, getting the vaccine may prevent you from infection or lessen the severity of symptoms. Act fast! Get a vaccine within 4 days of your exposure may reduce the likelihood of infection. If you get the vaccine between 4- and 14-days post-exposure, it may make your symptoms less.

STI Rates Rose In 2022

Monday, April 3rd, 2023

Syphilis rates increased 26% in 2021, for a second year in a row, and the “Big Three” STIs (sexually transmitted infections) racked up a record 2.5 million reported cases among Americans. That was at a time when we were supposed to be “socially distancing” and quarantining. COVID-19 was one of several infections that had banner years in 2020 and 2021.

Of course, most STIs are not fatal, except for syphilis if left untreated. Getting and having an STI carries a truckload of shame and stigma, which fuels new infections because the infected patient is less likely to tell a sexual partner of their condition. Another factor in the not-as-bad column: STIs are treatable and curable—except for herpes.

One for the not-so-hot column, though: infection with one STI makes you more susceptible to others, including HIV, which is also potentially fatal if left unmedicated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, these are the 2021 statistics:
• Chlamydia: 1,628,397 cases – up 3%
• Gonorrhea: 696,764 cases – up 2.8%
• Syphilis: 171,074 cases – a 26% increase, for the highest number of cases in 75 years
• Overall (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis): 2.5 million cases

What is not reflected in these numbers: the Mpox (monkeypox) epidemic, which has exploded in the past two years. HVCS has a dedicated Mpox wellness coaching team ready to answer questions and help clients connect to vaccines.

You may be asking, why are STI rates rising? Condom usage is dropping, spurred by the greater use of PrEP to prevent HIV. More and more of our clients report that they use barrier protection less often since they’re taking PrEP pills. While safer from HIV, those who go condom-less risk exposing themselves to STIs.

Scientists also posit that the ongoing opioid and meth epidemics are leading to more HIV and Hepatitis C infections among people who share needles, and the spread of other STIs as user trade drugs for sex that is often unprotected.

Leandro Mena, the director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, was quoted by POLITICO: “Over two decades of level funding, when you account for inflation and population changes, have effectively decreased the buying power of public health dollars and resulted in the reduction of STI services at the local level. That reduction in screening, treatment and partner services likely contributed to these STI increases.”

April is National STI Awareness Month. We’re using this opportunity to call attention to our free STI testing services, available to anyone who doesn’t know their STI status. The best way to reverse the rise of STI rates is to increase knowledge of infection rates—knowledge really is power! To set up your appointment, visit our Testing Request page.

National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - two youth in modern clothing laugh together.

Transgender Day of Visibility

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Every March 31st, we celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of the discrimination they face worldwide. It’s also a day to honor their contributions to society. Join us in fighting stigma and discrimination by posting about your support for the transgender community on your social media platforms. #transgenderdayofvisibility #transgenderrights #fightstigma

Electro Brunch: The Reunion – Our Annual Drag Brunch

Friday, February 17th, 2023

Out Loud Hudson Valley presents: Electro Brunch

HVCS Drag Brunch is back—totally revamped and ready for the spotlight! We’re partnering with Out Loud Hudson Valley to throw our biggest brunch event ever, on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at Noon at the Academy in Poughkeepsie.

The one and only Tina Burner, who rose to fame on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 13, brings big wig energy to wake up your weekend. The Academy will offer a dazzling brunch menu, mimosas, signature cocktails and a full bar.

Tickets are $35.00 each and available now at Please note: Tickets are for admission to the fabulous show…food & drinks are sold separately.

This annual event has grown from its roots in Clintondale, and more guests than ever can enjoy an amazing drag performance while raising funds for HVCS programs, like our emergency food closets and HIV prevention education.

For more information, visit or call (845) 787-1789. Tickets are available at: Eventbrite.

Entrenamiento Narcan En Español

Thursday, February 16th, 2023

Entrenamiento Narcan En Español

Capacitación de Narcan en español Jueves, 9 de marzo de 2023 de 6 pm a 7 pm en la Biblioteca Pública de Mt. Kisco, 100 E. Main St., Mt. Kisco, NY 10549

Women’s History Month

Friday, February 10th, 2023

National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Friday, February 10th, 2023

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 10

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day to address the impact of HIV on women and girls. When we reduce HIV stigma and promote testing, prevention, and treatment for women, we can help.

National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Dutchess Co. SEP Temporarily Operating Via Special Arrangements

Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

Our Dutchess County Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) is operating via special arrangements while our mobile health van undergoes some much-needed repairs. Prevention Specialists will be at our usual spot with their cars, and we are distributing harm reduction supplies as we always do. Things may look a little different for a few weeks, and you may not see our usual white van. If you’re in need and don’t see us on Mondays and Thursdays, call (914) 606-0316 or (845) 743-3133.