The LIAAC Blog

News and thoughts from the Long Island Association for AIDS Care

October 15, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Observes National Latinx 
AIDS Awareness Day

The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Observes National Latinx 
AIDS Awareness Day

Every October 15th, on the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, National Latinx AIDS Awareness is observed in the United States. The Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA) and the Hispanic Federation organizes the day to mobilize community based organizations, community leaders, and health departments to promote HIV testing, HIV prevention, and access to care within our Hispanic/Latinx communities. This year’s theme is “Ending HIV is Everyone’s Job.”

According to 2017’s New York State HIV/AIDS Surveillance Annual Report: For Cases Diagnosed Through December 2016, there were 1,681 Hispanic/Latinx individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The Hispanic/Latinx population also has the highest number of newly diagnosed HIV cases on Long Island, making up 37% of new diagnoses. Even more concerning, these alarming numbers do not include the hundreds of people living with HIV/AIDS who are undiagnosed. People living with undiagnosed infections pose a major public health risk, as it has been well established that people who are unaware of their positive HIV/AIDS status contributed disproportionally toward transmission. Governor Cuomo lists “Identifying persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and link them to health care” as one of the points of his three-point plan in the 2014 Ending the Epidemic imitative.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list a few obstacles Hispanic/Latinx people may face in regards to HIV testing and prevention including:

  • Culture: HIV/AIDS and homosexuality goes against traditional gender roles and the idea of “machismo” (masculine toughness) and “marianismo” (feminine purity).
  • Society: Poverty, lower education levels, limited access to care, and language barriers may limit awareness and opportunities for testing and care.
  • Immigration Status: Undocumented immigrants may be afraid of disclosing their status, making it less likely for them to seek services.

August 22, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on The New Board Chair for The Long Island Association for AIDS Care

The New Board Chair for The Long Island Association for AIDS Care

LIAAC is pleased to announce the Board of Directors has appointed a new Chairman, Thomas Fabbricante.

Tom Fabbricante has been working as a Digital Asset Manager at an optics company, for about 10 years, previously working in the fields of medical care and pharmaceuticals. Tom has been involved with LIAAC in several different capacities over the years. He started his relationship with LIAAC in the 1980s, working as a volunteer, visiting AIDS patients in the hospital.

Mr. Fabbricante has been a faithful member of the LIAAC Board of Directors for over 10 years, and in June 2018 he was appointed as the new Chairman. Former board chair and current CEO, John Haigney, said, “Tom has been an integral part of LIAAC’s Board for many years and will bring much to the table as Board Chair as LIAAC expands it’s mission of providing services and support for Long Islanders infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and at high risk for HIV infection and other
chronic diseases.”

July 23, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on The Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC) recognizes National African American Hepatitis C Action Day

The Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC) recognizes National African American Hepatitis C Action Day

July 25, 2018 marks the Sixth Annual National African American Hepatitis C Action Day (NAAHCAD), lead by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA) and the Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment (COPE). It is a day dedicated to promoting Hepatitis C prevention, testing, treatment, and linkage to care in our African American communities, and other at-risk people that are disproportionately affected by the virus.=

According to the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) latest publication on the reported cases of communicable diseases, there were 1,453 reported cases of people living with Hepatitis C in Nassau and Suffolk County in 2016. And with the current opioid epidemic, and the increasing use of injection drugs, the numbers may rise further. In July 2017, the NYSDOH reported that over 5,300 Long Islanders have been admitted to an Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services(OASAS)-certified chemical dependence treatment program, with the majority of clients living in Suffolk County.

Hepatitis C has been called the “Silent Epidemic” because many people who are infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) do not show apparent symptoms for decades. The virus is spread when infected blood enters the body of someone who is not infected. There are several ways one could become infected, but sharing injection drug needles; being born to an infected mother; and blood transfusions and organ transplants before 1992 are the most common ways it is transmitted. It is most recognized in the chronic stages when liver damage has occurred. HCV infections could range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks (acute infection), or a lifelong illness (chronic infection) that attacks the liver, resulting in liver problems, including cirrhosis or liver cancer.

LIAAC will be participating in NAAHCAD by spreading Hepatitis C awareness and encouraging testing on our social media outlets. LIAAC provides free and confidential Hepatitis C testing as well as education and linkage to care services.

July 18, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on June 10th Long Beach Pride

June 10th Long Beach Pride

On June 10th, LIAAC joined the thousands of LGBTQ Long Islanders, their friends, families & allies in celebrating the annual Long Beach Pride. Long Beach Pride weekend was full of exciting events for everyone, from carnival rides to a fashion show. As part of the event’s, Pride Market Fair, the LIAAC team setup a booth and distributed condoms & educational literature about health to the community. The booth included a Prize Wheel to test the knowledge of fellow Islanders, putting a fun spin (#PunsAreBad) on health education. This engaging game helped open the door to having a conversation about getting tested and being safe. Pride Month is always an exciting time for the LGBTQ community and LIAAC was honored to be a part of it.

May 16, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC) Recognizes National Prevention Week

Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC) Recognizes National Prevention Week

National Prevention Week takes place annually, and is dedicated to increasing public awareness of substance abuse and mental health issues. This year the event takes place May 13 – 19. The three primary goals of National Prevention Week are: to involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and in implementing prevention strategies; to foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health; and to promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications. This year, Prevention Week takes place from May 13 to May 19, 2018 and the overall theme is “Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow.”

Currently, the United States has been within the grip of a devastating opioid abuse crisis, one from which Long Island is not immune. According to the New York State Comptroller’s 2016 report on prescription opioid abuse and heroin addiction, Suffolk County had the highest rate of heroine overdoses of all the counties in the state. It is important that we take this week as an opportunity to speak to young people about the dangers of abusing prescription and illicit drugs, such as bodily damage, infectious diseases, and even death.

May 11, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on LIAAC Recognizes Hepatitis Awareness Month and National Hepatitis Testing Day

LIAAC Recognizes Hepatitis Awareness Month and National Hepatitis Testing Day


May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19, 2018 is National Hepatitis Testing Day, an opportunity to shed light on this hidden epidemic by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging priority populations to get tested. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those at highest risk for viral hepatitis are: baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965); men who have sex with men; Asian and Pacific Islanders; those with HIV/AIDS; and injection drug users.

There are more than three types of Hepatitis. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are each caused by a different virus and is spread in different ways. Hepatitis A can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become life-long chronic infections. However, there are vaccines that prevent against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

In the U.S, an estimated 2.7 to 3.9 million people are living with chronic HCV infection. Statewide, an estimated 200,000 people are living with HCV infection. It is estimated that up to 75% of persons living with HCV do not know their status. According to the 2016 Communicable Disease Annual Reports from the New York State Department of Health, there were 562 Hepatitis C infections reported in Nassau County and 891 Hepatitis C infections in Suffolk County.

February 21, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. Observes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. Observes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

February 7, 2018 marks the 18th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the Diaspora. NBHAAD was founded in 1999 as a national response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic in African American communities. The theme for 2018 is “Stay the Course, the Fight is Not Over!”

The NBHAAD initiative leverages a national platform to educate, bring awareness, and mobilize the African American community. NBHAAD has four key focus areas which encourage people to get educated about HIV and AIDS; get involved in community prevention efforts; get tested to know their status; and get treated to receive the continuum of care needed to live with HIV/AIDS.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, 44% of estimated new HIV diagnoses in the United States were among African Americans, who comprise 12% of the US population. Additionally, according to the New York State HIV/AIDS Surveillance Annual Report for Cases Diagnosed through December 2016, 20.7% of people newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Nassau and Suffolk counties were Black. Although this number has decreased from 24.4% since December 2014, there is still work to be done.

To get involved with our efforts, visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LIAAC.inc and follow us on Twitter at @LIAAC_inc. For more information or to schedule a test, call our toll free hotline at 1-866-236-3448.

February 14, 2018
by Liaacinc
Comments Off on LIAAC Supports Go Red Day 2018

LIAAC Supports Go Red Day 2018

LIAAC and Tri Care Systems showed it’s support for Go Red Day 2018. Go Red Day helps raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and is supported by several agencies including the American Hearth Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others. You can learn more about it at https://www.goredforwomen.org/get-involved/national-wear-red-day/national-wear-red-day/

January 30, 2018
by Liaacinc
1 Comment

The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. Names its New Chief Executive Officer

Since its founding in 1986, LIAAC has been a staple in the Long Island community. On June 30th, after over 30 years of service to the community of Long Island, Dr. Gail Barouh, PhD retired as the CEO of the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. After Dr. Barouh’s retirement, the LIAAC Board of Directors asked, the Board Chair, John Haigney, to take on the position of interim CEO, to help the agency as it transitioned to new leadership over the coming months. In January 2018, impressed with his leadership over this time, the Board elected John Haigney to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

John Haigney has been involved with LIAAC for over 30 years. The Board is very confident in John’s leadership and are excited to see what the future holds for the agency with his tenure.

With a new year and a new CEO also comes a new organizational structure at LIAAC. We are happy to continue to provide HIV prevention programs such as SAMHSA CSAP Educated Choices Healthy Options (ECHO), SAMHSA CSAT Project Safety Net, CDC’s program Young Men who have Sex with Men of Color. In addition we continue our vital Health Homes Care Coordination. We are exploring plans to expand upon the services we currently provide. LIAAC has been known for its innovative practices and for being on the forefront of current public health trends. We look forward to a bright and promising future.