New York governor announces state-level HCV elimination strategy
Gov . Andrew M. Cuomo announced the first U.S. state-level hepatitis C elimination strategy to end HCV in New York, according to a press release.
The announced strategy follows on the success of the statewide HIV/AIDS Services Administration, which the governor also announced would receive an expansion to its rental assistance program for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. The new HCV strategy aims to increase medication access and expand outreach programs to high-risk communities.
“The HIV/AIDS epidemic was a terrible tragedy in our nation's history but make no mistake the Empire State has led the nation in ending the epidemic and helping New Yorkers lead long, healthy and happy lives,” Cuomo said in the release. “With our Ending the Epidemic Blueprint, we are making historic progress and I am proud that we have reached another milestone in our fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. By expanding access to affordable housing and eliminating the spread of hepatitis C, we will further build on the gains we’ve achieved and continue our historic march forward.”
The governor proposed to increase funding for HCV prevention, testing and treatment programs, including education efforts, patient navigation and increasing prevention programs in primary care.
“The American Liver Foundation applauds and supports the recent efforts by Governor Cuomo to increase access to medications and expand support programs for New Yorkers living with Hepatitis C (HCV),” Tom Nealon, president and CEO of the American Liver Foundation, said in a statement. “Funding for prevention, testing and treatment programs is essential given that HCV-related deaths have exceeded HIV-related deaths in the state outside of New York City since 2007. Increased testing and access to medications that offer potential cures to patients with HCV is a first step toward stopping the HCV epidemic. With thousands of people dying every year waiting for a liver transplant, and a worsening shortage on the horizon, [American Liver Foundation] continues to encourage increased funding for improved testing and increased access to screenings and treatment in states across the country.” – by Talitha Bennett