STAP Director Optimistic About Future

Published 08/12 2014 04:17PM

Updated 08/12 2014 05:26PM

The director of the Southern Tier AIDS Program says he can see an end in sight for AIDS as an epidemic in New York State.

Executive Director John Barry spoke to the Binghamton Noon Rotary Club Tuesday.

He said earlier this year, Governor Cuomo made a pledge to end AIDS as we know it by 2020, not by developing a cure or vaccine but by reducing infection rates to the point where it's no longer an epidemic.

Barry said infection rates in New York dropped by 37 percent between 2002 and 2010 and continue to fall.

He said the medications for HIV have actually reduced the ability to transmit the disease.

"I think we need to keep the pressure on, and I think that's the one thing that the governor was suggesting that we keep the funding that we had in place, the programs that we have in place, and that's how we'll get to a place where very few people are infected each year and this will no longer be a major public health problem, it will be a public health problem that is under control," he said.

STAP has a new headquarters on Riverside Drive in Binghamton for its administrative offices and client services.

Its prevention programs are housed at 275 Main Street in Johnson City.

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