Cuomo's plan aims to cut the number of new HIV infections statewide to fewer than 750, which would no longer be considered an epidemic, as Capital New York reported Monday morning.
Cuomo boasted about the plan before officiating a marriage Sunday morning, after taking credit for the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage across the country.
“I want the rest of the nation to watch New York because New York is going to lead the way once again,” he declared. “We are going to end the AIDS epidemic and we’re going to do it here in the State of New York and set that as a national course.”
Among the blueprint’s goals is housing assistance for the estimated 6,000 New Yorkers living with H.I.V., which a report by Housing Works and the Treatment Action Group said would require between $600 and $700 million over the next six years.
Cuomo included $10 million in housing assistance in this year's state budget.
Activists had also pushed for the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to match the governor’s allocation, arguing that the city has an equal if not greater obligation to contribute, because 80 percent of New Yorkers with HIV live in the city.
The Council scraped together $2.7 million for “behavioral interventions” to prevent HIV, $400,000 to educate seniors about HIV prevention, $1.2 million to address the virus in “communities of color,” and $1.5 million for a “faith-based initiative.”
De Blasio could decide to contribute more funding, but the mayor’s office said he is still waiting on details from the governor regarding how the state funding will be allocated. The mayor plans to "assess potential city funding" once he has that information, a spokeswoman said.
Activists are upset that state legislators went on vacation without voting on any of the low- or no-cost measures in the blueprint. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, who represents the Bronx, sponsored two bills to decriminalize syringes and fund sex education in schools, but both the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled Assembly refused to vote on them.
"These points of legislation were very important to the blueprint, so the fact that it’s getting shoved aside and ignored is very troubling," said Brandon Cuicchi, a volunteer with longtime AIDS activist group ACT-UP New York.
Cuicchi said he and his fellow activists had circulated the Capital New York article amongst themselves on Monday and were planning to "start pushing a little bit harder on those specific points of legislation for the coming year, focusing a lot on those kind of no-brainer, no-cost legislation."
Longtime AIDS activist Jim Eigo said he didn't completely blame the state legislature for not voting on the plan.
"The governor did not release it in time for the legislature’s consideration," Eigo said.
The AIDS Task Force, of which Eigo was a member, delivered the blueprint to Cuomo in January, but Cuomo did not release it to the public until the end of April.
"We fulfilled our part of it, but it has to be said, the legislature got it very late," Eigo said.