WEST VILLAGE — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to reveal his long-awaited plan to put an end to the ongoing AIDS epidemic at a Manhattan LGBT community center on Wednesday afternoon, activists say.
Charles King, the CEO of Housing Works and a member of the longstanding anti-AIDS group ACT UP New York, said the governor will present his so-called "blueprint" to end AIDS inside the LGBT Center at 208 West 13th St. in the West Village at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
King said his group had been in close contact with Cuomo's office, adding that he and his colleagues had recommended holding the reveal at the LGBT Center "because it was the location of the birth of AIDS activism."
He added that the governor's office had been in talks with activists for some time "about where to get the biggest bang off of any event."
"I think we and the governor's office are completely aligned in wanting to get the maximum possible exposure to the release of the blueprint," King said.
A "community celebration" will take place on the street outside afterward, King said.
The governor's office did not immediately provide a comment when reached by phone.
The governor announced last year that one of his new goals is to bring the number of new infections to 750 a year by 2020 — an initiative that gay activists and their allies have been pushing for years.
The current rate of infection for AIDS was more than 3,000 people per year, according to a 2012 state report, and more than 2,000 people for HIV.
A 63-person task force of AIDS experts convened by the governor delivered a plan to his office by their January 2015 deadline.
But the governor had refused to endorse that plan for months, to the dismay of activists who worried the plan would be derailed.
Discouraged by the delay, activists have kept pressure on Cuomo, holding an April 1 protest outside his New York City office with the tagline: "It might be April Fools’ Day, but the people of New York State will not be fooled. Release the Blueprint as you promised to meet the goal of ending AIDS in New York State by 2020!"
King said protesters had organized a plan to send 400 people up to Albany on Wednesday "to demand that the blueprint be released," as "a way of forcing the governor's hand," but that protest will no longer take place.