New York State Department of Health Announces 8th Annual Ending the Epidemic Summit & World AIDS

This Year's ETE & WAD Theme is Entitled, "Family Reunion: Together We Adapt and Thrive!"

In-Person Events Return to ETE Summit & WAD for First Time in Three Years

ETE Summit & WAD Details Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 28, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health today announced New York's eighth annual Ending the Epidemic (ETE) Summit and World AIDS Day (WAD) to be held November 28–30, 2023. World AIDS Day is globally observed each December 1.

"This year's Ending the Epidemic Summit is a celebration of family and community as we return in person to celebrate achievements and hear personal stories from those who are living with HIV," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "While more work must and will be done, it's the decades of research, advocacy, and continued compassionate care that are saving lives every day."

This year's ETE summit and World AIDS Day theme is entitled, "Family Reunion: Together We Adapt and Thrive!" And for the first time in three years, events will be held in person at the Albany Capital Center in Albany.

Commissioner McDonald featured the annual World AIDS Day commemoration and Ending the Epidemic Summit in the latest episode of the Department's New York Public Health Now podcast, alongside co-host, Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner Johanne Morne.

More than 900 individuals are already registered to attend in person. Events will highlight transformative efforts to help people living with, or impacted by, HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), adapt and thrive. Events include 10 workshops, four plenaries, and 30 posters highlighting important stories, accomplishments, and initiatives driving ETE goals.

The Department has also released new data on the state's Ending the Epidemic efforts, including the updated ETE Dashboard and the latest HIV Surveillance Report. Highlights of the new data will be presented during the ETE Summit.

2023 Ending the Epidemic Summit and World AIDS Day feature the following events:

Tuesday & Wednesday

  • Commissioner McDonald to deliver opening remarks by video, along with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.
  • An ETE update provided by AIDS Institute Director Joseph Kerwin; Bureau of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Director Dr. Carol-Ann Swain; and NYC DOHMH Assistant Commissioner Dr. Sarah Braunstein.
  • Personal testimonies from young individuals on their lived experiences with HIV, including personal stories and experiences of PrEP Ambassadors and the innovations and partnerships in PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) engagement.
  • A special keynote address by Latino Commission on AIDS President Guillermo Chacon, who is also founder of the Hispanic Health Network.


  • World AIDS Day welcome plenary and 25th Anniversary tribute by Commissioner McDonald, Acting Deputy Commissioner, Office of Health Equity and Human Rights, Tina Kim; and Executive Director, Albany Damien Center, Perry Junjulas.
  • A candle lighting service will be held as part of the World AIDS Day Commemoration. The blue candle, symbolizing hope, healing, and remembrance, has long been at the center of AIDS memorial services and activism. The candle was at a vigil honoring San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in 1985, which is also where the concept of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was born.
  • A viewing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was created to honor, remember, and celebrate the stories and lives of those lost to HIV/AIDS.
  • World AIDS Day Commissioner's Special Recognition Awards Ceremony, presented by Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner Johanne Morne, and Dr. Linda Laubenstein Annual HIV Clinical Excellence Award presentations. Tina Kim, Acting Deputy Commissioner, Office of Health Equity and Human Rights, is the Master of Ceremonies.

Due to the historic and robust response, New York State has bent the curve on the HIV epidemic, reversing the decades-long increase in the number of people diagnosed with HIV in New York State, with new diagnoses decreasing by 38 percent from 2012-2022.

The Department's AIDS Institute programs continue to emphasize the importance of addressing health equity, through innovation and new models to increase access to care through procurement efforts. These new and improved requests for applications address persistent inequities and prioritize Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) populations who are most disproportionately impacted by HIV.

New York State leads the nation in the number of individuals prescribed HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications among those estimated to benefit from PrEP. Research has demonstrated that PrEP remains extremely effective at eliminating the possibility of transmitting HIV from one person to another, however, rates of PrEP uptake vary across populations in the State. In BIPOC communities, young men who have sex with men, cisgender and transgender women, and individuals under the age of 40 access PrEP at far lower rates than their White counterparts, even as new diagnosis of HIV increase in these same groups. The Department's AIDS Institute continues to work with community partners and providers to identify strategies to ensure equitable access to PrEP across the entire State.

The Native American Community Services was awarded $300,000 in state funds in response to the Health Promotion and Education for Indigenous Communities Request for Applications. ​This funding seeks to reduce barriers to prevention and increase access to health care for indigenous individuals and communities by focusing on strengthening capacity and improving systems through partnership building and culturally responsive practices.

By providing comprehensive services to people who use drugs, New York State's syringe exchange programs have reduced new HIV diagnoses among people who use drugs from 52 percent in the early 1990s to 4 percent in 2021.

Last year, the Department's AIDS Institute provided more than $52 million to bolster community programs dedicated to ending the epidemic efforts. In addition, the Department launched People Aging with HIV to help improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV who are over the age of 50.

More information about Ending the Epidemic, and World AIDS Day, including a full calendar of events, can be found here.

Resources for New Yorkers who are living with HIV/AIDS can be found here.