UR Medicine to receive major funding to help in fight against HIV/AIDS

Updated: 03/13/2014 5:44 PM
Created: 03/13/2014 5:38 PM WHEC.com
By: Janet Lomax

The numbers tell the story. There are 55,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS diagnosed every year in the United States and Rochester has the second highest rate of the disease in New York State. There’s now word that major funding is on its way here to help screen for and prevent HIV/AIDS.

More than 2,400 people in the Rochester area are living with HIV/AIDS. But a million dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is headed to UR Medicine to help in the fight.

The focus is on HIV prevention in minority communities. This is important to health care professionals like Dr. William Valenti, founder of Trillium Health. He has been at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS for more than three decades. He says the group most at risk is young African American men between the ages of 16 and 23.

Dr. William Valenti,Trillium Health, said, “In order to stay ahead of it, you have to know who the high risk people are and how to get the message out to them that they understand, includes testing.”

The University of Rochester was named a Center for AIDS Research last year by the National Institutes of Health.  The grant will be used in the on-going work there of prevention, detection and treatment of the disease. Dr. Valenti is applauding how the money will be used at the u of r...

Dr. Valenti said, “We need to really do what this grant allows us to do which is to get to people earlier in terms of testing, doing more creative work in terms of HIV prevention because it's the prevention piece that's really important here.”

The $1 million grant is the first of a five year commitment of funding from the CDC.

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