New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
December 1, 2020

Judith M. Persichilli

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

New Jersey Department of Health Recognizes World AIDS Day

New Jersey health officials are commemorating World AIDS Day on December 1 to support the more than 38,000 New Jersey residents living with HIV or AIDS and in remembrance of the lives we have lost. The Department encourages residents to seek HIV testing, and treatment if found to be positive.


“Despite having to temporarily close or modify services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, HIV testing programs have been innovative in their approach to client services,” said Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli. “More than 23,000 individuals have been tested since the pandemic began in March.”


The number of new HIV diagnoses went from 1,541 cases in 2007 to 1,063 in 2018.


Governor Murphy issued a proclamation  to acknowledge the community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, health care professionals, advocates and community members working to help end the HIV epidemic in New Jersey.


New Jersey currently has seven Harm Reduction Centers, which provide harm reduction counseling and supplies to prevent and reduce the transmission of HIV and other blood-borne diseases and prevent overdoses.


The centers have served over 3,100 clients over the past year and distributed over 643,000 clean syringes – significantly reducing the use of used syringes among people who inject drugs.


Over 5,700 patients received HIV-related medications through the New Jersey AIDS Drug Distribution Program since the COVID-19 pandemic started,

The CDC recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once, and those at higher risk should be tested at least once annually. Healthcare professionals should offer an HIV test as part of routine care.


New Jersey facts:

• Over the past year, 847 people were linked to PrEP through the New Jersey PrEP Counselor Program. Through the program, a network of PrEP counselors provide medication—a pill a day—to those at significant risk of contracting HIV. There are 35 PrEP Counselors located across the state.

• Seventy two percent of persons living with HIV/AIDS are 45 years of age or older.

• Minorities account for 77 percent of adult/adolescent HIV/AIDS cases ever reported to the state, and 79 percent (79.4%) of all persons living with HIV.

• Thirty-two percent of those living with HIV/AIDS are females; 36% of females living with HIV are currently 20-49 years old.

• Eighty-two percent of pediatric cases living with HIV/AIDS belong to minority races/ethnicities.