NEW ORLEANS, LA-- Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined with the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) to recognize National HIV Testing Day.
The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), the largest and oldest advocacy group for people living with HIV/AIDS established National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) in 1995 to increase testing around the nation so that more Americans know their status. This is the eighteenth year of NHTD, and the goal is to increase testing by 10 percent in every city, each year for the next three years.
NAPWA’s Mayors’ Campaign Against HIV is an opportunity for mayors across the country to raise visibility around the “Take the Test, Take Control” message by issuing proclamations declaring June 27 National HIV Testing Day in their own cities or in support of HIV testing.
“We must reduce the HIV/AIDS rate in our city. Our goal is to strengthen collaboration and communication mechanisms to better coordinate our HIV efforts,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Over 7000 people in the New Orleans area are infected with this disease. By increasing testing we can better understand and combat HIV/AIDS. I urge citizens to take action against this epidemic by taking a small but powerful step—GET TESTED.”
“As a city, we have begun to successfully and effectively address the HIV epidemic,” said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, City Health Commissioner. “We still have a long way to go and must build on our successes by increasing medical care and aggressively addressing prevention, which is why we are encouraging citizens to get tested; knowing your status is the first step.”
The City of New Orleans has been committed to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by leveraging resources and investing in programs such as the Ryan White program, which provides HIV-related services for those who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with HIV/AIDS. The program fills gaps in care not met by other payers.
Since taking office, Mayor Landrieu has administered $17.9 million for the Ryan White program. The New Orleans region boasts a network that provides quality, affordable care by a dedicated group of providers through this funding. Last year, in concert with a number of partners, the City provided treatment to 4,082 HIV/AIDS patients with over $7.2 million in Ryan White program funding.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, New Orleans is ranked 3rd in AIDS case rates in the U.S. and in 2011, there were 261 new HIV cases in the New Orleans area. Mayor Landrieu encourages citizens of New Orleans to get tested.
Click here for a list of local testing sites.