August 19, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $2.5 Million For Legal Support Services For Individuals and Families Living With HIV

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $2.5 Million For Legal...
WYSIWYG

Governor Cuomo announced support and protections for HIV-positive individuals and their families through $2.5 million in grants awarded to 11 organizations across the state which provide these individuals with access to various legal services.

“Our administration is committed to ending the AIDS epidemic in New York – and today, we are continuing to help New Yorkers who are living with HIV get the support they need,” Governor Cuomo said. “These organizations provide critical support services to those who are HIV-positive, and working together we can make a difference in the lives of people across our state.”

“Individuals living with HIV often have to deal with a long list of legal issues resulting from their illness and are unable to find or afford the proper assistance,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “This funding helps ensure that HIV-positive individuals and their families have access to the services and supports that can sometimes be difficult to obtain.”

Aside from the inherent medical costs of living with HIV, many HIV-positive individuals are faced with an array of costly legal issues. This includes everything from developing a living will and assigning health care proxies to securing safe housing, obtaining needed public benefits, and addressing discrimination practices. This funding helps ensure that HIV-positive individuals and HIV-affected families have access to services that address these issues, as well as services that help protect dependent children.

Many parents lack the resources to move toward making a care and custody plan legally binding. The funded organizations provide support to families with dependent children in order to help HIV-positive parents and identified caregivers make future care and custody decisions related to adoption, custody and guardianship. Additionally, new caregivers, often grandparents or other extended family members, are offered support as they assume parental responsibility for HIV-affected dependent children in the form of legal and psychosocial services.

Governor Cuomo has sought to make New York a leader in the effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, both nationally and globally, by setting a goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic in the State by the end of 2020. Earlier this year, his “Ending the Epidemic Task Force” delivered its final blueprint for fulfilling this goal and since that time, major steps have been taken to implement the plan’s three main pillars of: (1) expanding HIV testing, (2) ensuring that everyone with HIV can get treatment, and (3) increasing the availability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that helps HIV-negative individuals reduce their risk of becoming infected. This includes maximizing viral suppression among persons living with HIV who are Medicaid recipients or in the state corrections system.

The Housing and Supportive Services Committee of the Task Force specifically identified the need to increase access to legal services for HIV-positive individuals and their families. These grants address this concern and are a concrete step towards improving the lives of all New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

The 11 programs receiving funding are listed below.

REGION

CONTRACTOR

ANNUAL AWARD

Central New York

Legal Services of Central New York, Inc.

$196,113

Finger Lakes

Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc.

$196,113

Northeastern NY

Albany Law School of Union University

$196,113

Western New York

Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc.

$196,113

Hudson Valley

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

$288,300

Long Island

Nassau-Suffolk Law Services Committee

$288,300

New York City

Family Center, Inc.

$288,300

New York City

Legal Action Center of the City of New York, Inc.

$288,300

New York City

African Services Committee, Inc.

$288,300

New York City

The Legal Aid Society

$288,300

New York City

New York Council on Adoptable Children, Inc.

$78,693

Translations
Translations
Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418