New York State Department of Health Issues Awards for Contributions to end AIDS Epidemic by 2020
NEW YORK (December 1, 2015)— Today, the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute (NYSDOH) will honor the Montefiore AIDS Center staff for their work in the field of HIV/AIDS and Alain Litwin M.D. for his contributions to the field of hepatitis C (HCV). New York is home to approximately 116,000 people living with HIV or AIDS. Additionally, an estimated 200,000 New Yorkers have chronic hepatitis C, which like HIV, can be acquired by contact with blood.
“This award is the result of a tremendous team effort over many years to build the finest HIV/AIDS program and to treat every patient with care and compassion,” said Barry Zingman M.D., medical director, AIDS Center at Montefiore and professor of clinical medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “We are pleased to be recognized for making a difference to each patient, to each family and to the HIV epidemic across the state and beyond”
The Montefiore AIDS Center and its Center for Positive Living/Infectious Diseases Clinic, which is the largest HIV clinic in New York State, provides a range of supportive services for people with HIV/AIDS including nutrition services and behavioral health counseling as well as post and pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment for those at risk of acquiring HIV.
Alain Litwin, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., attending physician, Addiction Medicine, Montefiore Health System and professor of medicine and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is being honored for promoting hepatitis C testing and improving access to hepatitis C care and treatment. Dr. Litwin’s work includes creating a national model to integrate HCV treatment into methadone clinics and original research on HCV treatment in people who actively inject drugs. He is also an advocate for access to treatment for both substance abuse and HCV.
“This award brings visibility for the needs of a marginalized population,” said Dr. Litwin. “We intend to keep improving our models of care so people who inject drugs can get effective, safe treatment for HCV. As 80 percent of new hepatitis C infections occur in active drug users, treating people who inject drugs is key to managing the disease at a population level.”
New York State Commissioner Howard Zucker M.D. will present both awards today at 3 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. Dr. Zucker will recognize individuals for their commitment, contribution and response to improve and promote the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers.