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Local and Community News

New York City: The Mayor’s Point Man on AIDS

April 21, 2003

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Speaking to thousands of AIDS advocates attending the Community Planning Leadership Summit on AIDS March 13, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg set two goals for his administration. The city would lead in achieving the CDC goal of cutting new HIV infections by 50 percent by 2005 and provide the best HIV/AIDS care and treatment, he said. “The challenge for achieving both of these goals is in Frank Oldham Jr., our recently appointed citywide coordinator for AIDS policy,” said Bloomberg. “He will ensure that all city agencies, community organizations, medical providers, and partners are working together ...”

That is a big job for an office that has a staff of roughly 10 and an annual budget of $700,000. Oldham convenes a meeting with commissioners and assistant commissioners from several city agencies each month. His office also oversees $104 million in federal Ryan White funds and $60 million in federal money for AIDS housing. With his appointment in January as city AIDS czar, Oldham has begun implementing the mayor’s vision.

Achieving that vision requires implementing effective HIV prevention programs such as safe sex education and exchanging used needles for clean ones. The mayor endorsed needle exchanges in his speech. The city wants more people getting tested for HIV. Testing leads to treatment and it can also indicate where new infections are increasing as a tool in directing HIV prevention efforts.

Oldham must meet these goals while the city is dealing with multi-billion dollar shortfalls in its budget. The federal Health Resources and Services Administration also cut, compared to last year, $14 million in Ryan White funds. “[HRSA] based their case on the application, and also New York City has not spent AIDS money,” Oldham said. The city has roughly $14 million carryover in Ryan White funds. Bloomberg said he wanted to amend Local Law 49, a 1997 law creating the HIV/AIDS Services Administration that addresses the social services and income support needed by people living with HIV. “This is not a way to reduce resources,” Oldham said. AIDS activists generally approve of Oldham, but his success depends on the support he gets from City Hall.

Back to other CDC news for April 21, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Gay City News (New York City)
04.11.2003; Duncan Osborne

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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