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HIV Center for Women and Children

HIV/AIDS in Brooklyn

Brooklyn has been heavily affected by HIV/AIDS over the past three decades and has some of the city's highest prevalence rates. Nearly 29,000 Brooklyn residents were living with HIV/AIDS as of June 30, 2014. Over thirty percent (33.3%) of new HIV diagnoses in the first half of 2014 were made concurrent with AIDS diagnoses and years after infection, when HIV was already causing illness. And surveys suggest that 40% of Brooklyn adults have yet to receive an HIV test. In the first half of 2014, Brooklyn had the terrible distinction of having NYC's highest percentages of new HIV diagnoses (29.3%) and AIDS diagnoses (28.2%), and NYC's second highest percentage of deaths (29.2%). Brooklyn consistently has the largest number of individuals who when diagnosed with HIV are also diagnosed with AIDS, meaning that they are not benefitting from the access to care and treatment which could extend their lives.


Brooklyn Knows logoBrooklyn Knows is NYC's latest effort to address this challenge. The initiative builds on the achievements of The Bronx Knows, a City-led community partnership that has helped more than 400,000 Bronx residents get tested for HIV since its launch in 2008. The Brooklyn coalition's 52 early partners include 9 hospitals, 13 community health centers and 23 faith-based and community-based organizations, along with the Brooklyn Borough President's office and a half-dozen local businesses and educational institutions. All of the partners join with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and various Brooklyn youth groups to promote universal voluntary testing. Many partner organizations provide testing in their own facilities, offering tests at no charge for those who lack health coverage. As part of the initiative, the Health Department sponsors a borough-wide awareness campaign – "Any Body Can Get HIV" – which made its debut in Brooklyn subway stations. The campaign also includes a New York Knows Facebook page where friends and fans can share support and resources.

The HIV Center for Women and Children at SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Beginning in 1985 with one of the first research studies examining perinatal HIV transmission, The HIV Center for Women and Children has grown to a multi-disciplinary center currently serving more than 2,000 HIV+ men, women and children with nearly $8 million in annual extramural funding. The HIV Center for Women and Children is composed of investigators with academic appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Medicine and Psychiatry who employ more than 200 providers, researchers and support staff in a number of HIV-related programs. HIV Center activities are governed by an executive board consisting of the directors/principal investigators of multiple HIV-related projects at SUNY Downstate, Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC), and Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH, Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, serves as director of both the STAR Program (described below) and the HIV Center. Both care and research take place primarily at University Hospital at Brooklyn (UHB), KCHC, and Brookdale Hospital, but community-based organizations and other Brooklyn hospitals are also sites for HIV-related activities sponsored by the HIV Center's investigators. The goals of The HIV Center for Women and Children are to integrate and expand the multidisciplinary efforts that exist within the HIV care and research programs.

Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Program

The Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Program is the umbrella organizational structure for an integrated HIV clinical, mental health, psychosocial, educational and research program at SUNY Downstate. The STAR Program is a multi-departmental effort comprising multiple projects within the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medicine (Infectious Disease Division).  The mission of the STAR Program is to provide and enhance quality healthcare locally and globally through the integration of treatment, prevention, research and education.

STAR Health Center

At University Hospital of Brooklyn, outpatient medical care is provided to HIV+ adults in the Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center (SHC). The SHC is located in Suite J of the Outpatient Department of University Hospital, located at 470 Clarkson Avenue in Brooklyn. The SHC provides rapid HIV testing, medical examinations, prenatal care, patient education, hepatitis C screening and treatment, mental health services, nutritional counseling, substance use counseling, buprenorphine therapy, acupuncture, treatment adherence counseling, social work, care coordination, hormone therapy, High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA), psychiatry services, specialized domestic violence/trauma counseling for women, and family-centered case management.  Specialized gynecological care is given to HIV+ women. The SHC’s treatment adherence services include:  adherence education; adherence counseling; group education sessions; adherence support groups; and same-day medication adherence focused medical visits. A new clinic focused on the prevention and care needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals will operate in Suite J of University Hospital on Monday evenings from 5:00pm to 8:00pm starting on October 19, 2015.

For more information, please call:  (718) 270-3745