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AIDS center wins state grant to expand treatment programs

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The Designated AIDS Center at Upstate University Hospital has won a state grant that will expand treatment programs. 

The idea is to make sure people infected with the HIV virus continue treatment that keeps the virus at bay.

Program director Kelley Flood says they will target people who might not follow up on the care they need to corral the virus that can lead to AIDS.

“We’re going to be able to increase our ability to retain patients in care and support them while we are trying to do that. We know that once people are in care and they’re maintained in care, their viral load is lower, and that makes transmission of the virus much less likely,” said Flood.  

According to Flood, it’s especially important that HIV positive individuals follow doctor’s orders.

"If you get into treatment early enough, and you take your medications, you may never have any condition to have you diagnosed with aids,” said Flood.

“And that’s our goal, to get people into care as soon as they know about their status, and keep them in care, so that they’re healthy, and not passing the virus onto other people.”

Flood says the program will help individuals get past some of the barriers that get in the way of continuing care, like lack of health insurance or transportation.

The $1.5 million grant comes from the state Health Department’s AIDS Institute, and aligns with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal to end the AIDS epidemic in New York state by the year 2020.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.