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Cuomo Honors World AIDS Day by adding $200M to Fight The Epidemic

By Kerry Longobucco.
World AIDS Day is being honored across the globe Tuesday. That includes here in New York - where Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has just committed $200-million dollars to the next phase of his plan to end the AIDS epidemic in the state.

Cuomo hopes to eradicate AIDS in New York by 2020. John barry, executive director of the Southern Tier AIDS Project, says the state's strategy has three major components: esting anyone and everyone for HIV, getting those who test positive into treatment, and finally, making sure they stay in treatment.

Barry said a person who is HIV positive, but is receiving proper treatment, is much less likely to pass on the virus.

Some of those dollars will go toward creating more affordable housing, and providing housing assistance, to those living with HIV.

"It helps them stay healthier. I mean, that shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us," Barry said. "When you know that there's going to be a roof over your head that night, it's easier to eat right, take your medications, go to the doctor next time you have an appointment."

Barry says the number of new infections in New York State has been dropping since 2002.

A local organization is also doing its part to help end AIDS in New York. Family Planning of South Central New York is offering free, confidential rapid HIV testing and counseling this week in honor of World AIDS Day.

All it takes is a quick prick of the finger, and results are ready in just twenty minutes, using a highly accurate rapid HIV test kit.

Walk-ins will be welcome at the following locations and times:
117 Hawley St., Binghamton: Wednesday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
5 Cortland St., Norwich: Wednesday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
37 Dietz St., Oneonta: Wednesday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
130 North St., Walton: Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.