Positive health news for New York

By Caroline Goggin

August 12, 2014 Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 6:51 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It was an epidemic that swept the country and took so many lives.

That was until the game changed in 1995 and 1996, when new medications aided those suffering from the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"We called it the lazarus syndrome," said executive director of the Southern Tier AIDS Program, Jon Barry. "They were suddenly much healthier and they were able to begin their lives again."

Hope is re-surfacing again for those affected by the HIV/AIDS community, as was witnessed by a presentation at the Binghamton Rotary Lunch.

"I think it's vital to keep our population safe and free of infections such as HIV," said rotary club member, Dori May Ganisin. "This particular program is having a great impact. We have according to the statistics he was showing, a much lower increase of AIDS in this area."

Members of STAP project said that in the next 10 to 20 years, HIV will no longer be considered an epidemic in the state of New York.

However, strides have already been made.

"The number of people becoming newly infected is going to drop lower and lower and lower. And in fact, it has been. It has dropped by 37% since 2002," said Barry.

In 2002, over 6,000 people in our state were diagnosed with HIV.

Just eight years later in 2010, less than 4,000 were diagnosed.

According to regional data in the state on New York, the region of Binghamton's has the lowest number of newly diagnosed HIV cases.

These lower numbers are due to one thing.

"Get them into treatment. Do everything we can to get people to take the treatment regularly," added Barry. "And again, when people are taking the medications regularly and they have a low viral load, it is virtually impossible to pass the infection to anyone else."