Posts Tagged ‘HIV’

Discretely Request Free HIV, STD and Hep C Testing With Our New Online Form

Friday, July 22nd, 2022
Young man looking at oral HIV test swab on a bed.

HVCS has offered free HIV, STD (STI), and hepatitis C testing for decades. To set up your free tests, all you have to do is contact us!

We offer testing at our offices, at various health fairs and public events across the Hudson Valley, or, if necessary, your home. If that’s not an option, we will meet you in a safe, confidential (mutually agreed upon) space.

Start by providing a few details on our new online request form so we know how best to serve you. Find the form here.

Westchester Street Outreach Team Has A New Van

Friday, February 4th, 2022
Street outreach team in Westchester gets a new van.

Our Project Reach Out street outreach program has a brand-new van! Despite a rain storm, staff gathered in the parking lot at our Hawthorne office to christen the new vehicle, which was specially outfitted just for us. The van was partially funded by the NYSDOH AIDS Institute and administrative reserves. Hudson Valley Credit Union provided additional funding to make this a reality for us and our clients in Westchester’s urban areas. PRO provides HIV and STD testing, referrals to critical health and support services, and was recently approved as a syringe access program. We look forward to serving more clients than ever before.

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021
NationalYouth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, April 10th

Saturday, April 10th is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. #NYHAAD reminds us of the importance of investing in young people’s health and education. School-based Health Education provides youth with a safe and supportive environment to learn about HIV prevention.

1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses occurs in young people ages 13-24. This National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, learn why investing in youth health and education is critical to ending HIV:

Get To Know Cornerstone: Part 3

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Even before merging, HVCS and Cornerstone Family Healthcare (CFH) worked together as community partners. We frequently make referrals back and forth to ensure that clients have optimal healthcare and the best possible quality of life. In our Drug User Health Hub, serving clients with opioid use disorder in Orange and Sullivan counties, a Cornerstone Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner sees clients and writes Suboxone prescriptions.

A group shot of Cornerstone employees with CEO Linda Muller (front center).

Since the merger, two CFH programs became HVCS programs:
Positive Choices Center: HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment (moved to Client Services department)
HIPS and PrEP (moved to Community Education and Prevention department with HVCS)
For more information about Cornerstone, visit or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

HIV Treatment Cascade Stats Get Even Better

Friday, February 19th, 2021

HVCS has conducted its own analysis of the HIV
treatment cascade for a few years now. This is a
statistical look at the number of clients who are
HIV-positive, are connected to medical care (at all,
and how many have continuous care), and the
percentage who are virally suppressed. (This means
that their viral load, or measurement of how many
copies of HIV are in their blood, is so low that it cannot
be detected.) Among those who have medical care,
95% of HVCS’ clients are virally suppressed!

This figure for 2019 is even better than for previous
years, so we are doing better and better all the time.
Virally suppressed clients cannot transmit HIV to
others, so this is doubly good news.

Montefiore, Einstein bank $111M to lead group focused on HIV-related cancers

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

From Crain’s Health Pulse:

Montefiore, Einstein bank $111M to lead group focused on HIV-related cancers

Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine said Tuesday that they have received a five-year, $111 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to lead the longstanding AIDS Malignancy Consortium.

The consortium has been a driving force behind national and international efforts to prevent and treat HIV-related cancers for 25 years, Montefiore and Einstein noted. The work is especially important as antiretroviral therapy to suppress HIV has helped tens of millions of people live longer and healthier lives. But the unfortunate consequence of living longer with HIV is an increased risk of cancer.

“People living with HIV shoulder an enormous burden of cancer,” said Dr. Joseph Sparano, associate chair for clinical research in the department of oncology at Montefiore, associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and principal investigator on the grant, in a statement. “AMC is the only organization worldwide solely dedicated to the study, treatment and prevention of cancer in this group of people.”

The AIDS Malignancy Consortium oversees a network of 42 clinical trial sites in the U.S., Africa and Latin America as well as scientists who support its trials, Montefiore and Einstein noted. It also runs a career program to help the next generation of leaders in the area receive resources and support. It works directly with people living with HIV and cancer to help better identify the needs of the community.

Results from its clinical trials have helped to strengthen treatment guidelines as well as to advance the prevention and management of human papillomavirus-associated cancers and the use of precision medicine and immunotherapy for people living with HIV who receive antiretroviral therapy, Montefiore and Einstein said.

“During this next phase, we will build on these successes, developing and leading additional clinical trials designed to address the most critical needs of people with HIV and cancer, precancerous disease and individuals at high risk for cancer—most importantly, completing the Anchor trial,” Sparano added.

The Anchor study focuses on the prevention and treatment of anal cancer caused by HPV. Dr. Rebecca Levine, assistant professor of surgery at Einstein and a surgical oncologist at Montefiore, is serving as the Anchor principal investigator at Einstein and Montefiore.

“We expect the results of this study will have an enormous impact on clinical care,” Levine said in a statement.

The AIDS Malignancy Consortium was previously led by the University of California, Los Angeles. —Jennifer Henderson

Hudson Valley Dance Festival To Donate $2500 to HVCS

Monday, September 21st, 2020

Hudson Valley Dance FestivalHudson Valley Dance Festival
Moves Online for 2020 Edition
with Stream Set for Saturday, October 10
Virtual festival to feature premieres,
made-for-the-moment dance films
and highlights from past festivals
Produced by and benefiting
Dancers Responding to AIDS,
a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Escape to the cultural heart of the Hudson Valley without leaving your living room when the Hudson
Valley Dance Festival goes virtual for the first time on Saturday, October 10, 2020. The festival is
produced by and benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS , a program of Broadway Cares/Equity
Fights AIDS .

Dancers Responding to AIDS has already pledged a $2,500 donation to HVCS.

Watch the hourlong stream at 7 pm Eastern, at . The stream will be available for four
days after its premiere.

The lineup is set to feature a diverse collection of festival premieres, made-for-the-moment
filmed shorts and highlights from past festivals. The virtual festival will include an original dance
film by Stephen Petronio , created at his residency center in Round Top, NY; an outdoor solo filmed
at Kaatsbaan Summer Festival in Tivoli, NY, choreographed by Caleb Teicher featuring American
Ballet Theatre’s Catherine Hurlin ; a performance from So You Think You Can Dance ’s Ricky Ubeda
choreographed by Billy Griffin and more. The full lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We’ll miss gathering on the banks of the Hudson River and amid the gorgeous fall foliage, but we’re
happy to continue the tradition of sharing breathtaking dance that gives back to and celebrates the
Hudson Valley community,” said Denise Roberts Hurlin, founding director of Dancers Responding
to AIDS. “In these unprecedented times, we’re thrilled to come together virtually and provide
immediate help to those affected by COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and other life crises in the area and
across the country.”

The money raised during the Virtual Hudson Valley Dance Festival will help Broadway Cares provide
additional, emergency grants to 13 organizations based in the Hudson Valley that are already part
of its National Grants Programs. The organizations are Albany Damien Center and Alliance for
Positive Health in Albany, Animalkind, Columbia-Greene Community Foundation and Hudson Valley
SPCA in Hudson, Matthew 25 Food Pantry and Community Hospice in Catskill, Hudson Valley
Community Services in Hawthorne, Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center in Kingston, Rock
Steady Farm in Millerton, Roe Jan Food Pantry in Hillsdale, TOUCH (Together Our Unity Can Heal) in
Congers and Troy Area United Ministries in Troy.

The annual in-person dance festival, traditionally held at Historic Catskill Point in Catskill, NY, has
raised $910,688 for people in need across the country and in the Hudson Valley during the festival’s
seven editions.

Dancers Responding to AIDS relies on the extraordinary compassion and efforts of the performing
arts community to fund a safety net of social services for those in need. As a program of Broadway
Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, DRA supports the essential programs of The Actors Fund, including the
HIV/AIDS Initiative and The Dancers’ Resource, as well as more than 450 AIDS and family service
organizations nationwide.

For more information, please visit Dancers Responding to AIDS at , at , at , at and at .
# # #

Transportation Program For HIV+ Individuals

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Transportation program info

HVCS In The News: Funding Freeze Puts Squeeze on New York Providers of Social Services

Friday, June 12th, 2020

From the Wall Street Journal. View the original article here (paid subscription may be required)

Money is running out to help AIDS patients pay rents; schools are also on edge

Members of the New York City Department of Probation distributed food at a Bronx pantry in late April.

By Jimmy Vielkind

ALBANY, N.Y.—Social service providers say they are struggling as New York’s state government withholds grant payments in response to the novel coronavirus crisis.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget division froze payments to municipalities and nonprofit agencies, and withheld scheduled raises to some workers in April after revenues crashed as a result of the pandemic.

State revenues are $13.3 billion below expectations, according to the most recent estimate. The state has held up nearly $4 billion of payments, as the Democratic governor pushes Congress for more aid. The state also borrowed $1 billion last month to help it remain solvent until income tax payments, which were previously due in April, start arriving in July. Officials plan to borrow an additional $3.5 billion this week.

As the state holds on to cash, some providers said they are contemplating layoffs and other measures. ACR Health, a Syracuse-based nonprofit that services AIDS patients and others throughout central New York, relies on state grants for almost 88% of its $12 million annual budget, Executive Director Wil Murtaugh said.

Mr. Murtaugh said his group is owed more than $1 million for services that were performed. As a result, ACR has been unable to make rental assistance payments for 221 HIV-positive people in private facilities.

“I don’t think it’s smart to have immunocompromised people be homeless,” Mr. Murtaugh said in an interview. Mr. Cuomo, through an executive order, has put a moratorium on evictions through Aug. 20.

The U.S. House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, last month approved $1 trillion in additional aid for state and local governments, including $35 billion for New York, as part of a $3 trillion economic relief package.

Republicans who control the Senate, however, are skeptical about sending money to states for expenses they see as unrelated to the pandemic. The Senate is expected to approve another relief bill by the beginning of August, with the size and scope of more assistance to states and municipalities set to be one of the central areas of contention between the parties.

ACR Health is part of a network of New York agencies created in the 1980s in response to the AIDS epidemic. Their mandate has subsequently expanded, said Andrea Straus, executive director of Hudson Valley Community Services Inc.

Her organization has 11 different state contracts that support the work of 71 of the organization’s employees. Ms. Straus said a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program has helped her organization avoid layoffs, but it will re-evaluate the situation this summer.

“Our staff are essential, but they’re not going to get paid? It seems so counterintuitive,” Ms. Straus said. “They owe us $908,634.40. And there’s about another $400,000 for May.”

Freeman Klopott, a spokesman for the state Budget Division, said the payment delays could translate into permanent reductions of 20%. “This is exactly why we have been calling on the federal government to provide the resources states need—without federal action, the most vulnerable among us will suffer,” he said.

School districts and municipalities are also on edge. The state was due to release $247 million of aid to Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse on June 25, but Budget Director Robert Mujica previously told The Wall Street Journal that the grants wouldn’t be released without federal action.

“Uncertainty abounds,” said Peter Baynes, executive director of the New York State Conference of Mayors, which represents city and village leaders.

New York officials did provide clarity this week for road contractors when they allocated $544 million that will be sent to municipalities for paving. Frank Suits Jr., president of the Suit-Kote construction firm based in Cortland, N.Y., said he was preparing to lay off hundreds of workers who normally spend the summer working on road projects. He has now scrapped those plans.

Wyoming County High Superintendent Todd Gadd said even though money isn’t expected until later in the year, municipalities will now execute contracts and fix roads during New York’s limited summer construction season. The state warned, though, that the allocations could be reduced by 20%.

“It’s good we can get projects started, but there’s still that potential cut looming,” Mr. Gadd said.

For other organizations, the payment delays are closer to an annoyance than a cataclysm. Food Pantries for the Capital District, which helps transport food and supplies to 65 pantries in the Albany area, last year received a $15,000 state grant to fund the operation of an additional delivery truck.

Natasha Pernicka, the organization’s executive director, said the state is supposed to reimburse it $970 a month for lease payments. The group has had to eat the cost.

“A lot of organizations don’t have flexibility, and their cash flows are very tenuous,” Ms. Pernicka said. “The intention of donors right now is to pay for Covid response—not because we’re waiting for state payments to come through.”



Webinar Registration for POZ at Home: Coping With COVID-19 and HIV

Friday, May 29th, 2020

On Monday, June 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm EST, POZ Magazine is hosting a webinar entitled “POZ at Home – Coping With COVID-19 and HIV.” This webinar is free. Register at

This event is being produced by POZ At Home.


Mark S. King
Award-winning blogger, author, speaker and HIV/AIDS advocate
Mark S. King is an award-winning blogger, author, speaker and HIV/AIDS advocate who has been involved in HIV causes since testing positive in 1985. His blog, My Fabulous Disease, has been nominated for five consecutive GLAAD Media Awards (2015-2020) and was awarded the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association’s “Excellence in Blogging” honor in 2014 and 2016.

Venita Ray
Deputy Director @PWN-USA
Venita Ray is the deputy director of PWN-USA. She previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors and has more than 20 years of experience working in underserved communities on social justice issues including affordable housing, environmental justice, health care and HIV.

Charles Sanchez
HIV+ Writer, Performer, Director and Activist
Charles Sanchez is a gay, HIV+ writer, performer, director and activist living in New York City. He is one of the co-founders of Skipping Boyz Productions, and conceived, writes and stars in the musical comedy web series, Merce, which was named Best HIV/AIDS Content at America’s Rainbow Film Festival in 2016 and won the Audience Award for Short Film at the 2017 Kaleidoscope Film Festival.