Posted on The New York Times 7/3/14, written by Josh Barro
On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an ambitious goal: Ending the AIDS epidemic in New York State by 2020.
Governor Cuomo does not mean he expects the state to find a cure; he wants to cut new infections so drastically that the number of New Yorkers living with H.I.V. goes into decline. He has set a goal of 750 new infections in 2020, down from about 3,000 in 2013 and 14,000 at the epidemic's peak in 1993.
To that end, he has embraced a new and controversial treatment for people at risk of contracting H.I.V. He wants to put more H.I.V.-negative people on Truvada, a drug originally developed to treat those who already have the virus, and which the F.D.A. approved in 2012 as protection against new infections.
This strategy, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is one of three planks in Governor Cuomo's broad plan to cut H.I.V. infections, and the most novel one. The other two (testing more people and getting those who test positive to see doctors; getting H.I.V.-positive people to stay in treatment and on medication) are strategies that New York and other states have pursued for decades with varying degrees of success.
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