February 12, 2016


February 11, 2016



(New York, NY) – ASCNYC, one of the largest AIDS services programs in New York City, reacted to a proposal from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office to pass a law extending to minors confidentiality related to prevention, care and treatment for HIV infection. Current law gives minors a right to confidential access to HIV testing only.

“ASCNYC applauds this latest milestone in Governor Cuomo’s fight to end the transmission of HIV in New York State,” said Sharen Duke, Executive Director of ASCNYC, which provides prevention, testing and peer education programs for New Yorkers with HIV and other chronic illnesses.

“Working with New Yorkers of all ages, we know first-hand how access to prevention and treatment will increase the number of young people who know their HIV status and help combat the rising rates of HIV infection in New York’s adolescent population,” continued Duke.

“Governor Cuomo’s leadership in passing this new law as well as all other HIV-related legislation planned for this session—extending the recommended age for HIV testing beyond 64 years old and increasing access to syringes—will save and extend the lives of countless New Yorkers,” concluded Duke.


ASCNYC is a multiservice community organization that carries out its mission of promoting Positive Change for New Yorkers seeking health, housing, recovery, and a better future as they navigate life with HIV and other chronic health conditions.  ASCNYC’s comprehensive programs help New York City’s most vulnerable individuals and families to access medical care, overcome addiction, rejoin the world of work, and reclaim their lives by building community, connection and stability. For more information go to

February 1, 2016


ASCNYC brings help and hope in the battle against addiction
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Positive Change in Action:
Dennis's Story

Relapse is the part of the recovery process that nobody really wants to accept because it’s a scary reality. No one wants to think about the fact that when you’re in recovery from using drugs or alcohol, relapse can happen.
When it happened to me last year, I was crushed. I come from a family where my father has been a drug dealer for over 30 years, and my mother was an addict. During a very difficult time with my family, my father offered me drugs and because I was emotionally vulnerable, I relapsed.
I’d worked so hard to get away from all that and to change my life. I’d moved up the ladder at ASCNYC from a Peer Educator to a staff position. So for me, relapsing felt like self-sabotage. I really beat myself up emotionally thinking about how badly I’d messed up. I was sure that my life and career were completely over. I was at the edge of a dangerous downward spiral.
But ASCNYC stood by me. They told me, “We’re still here for you in every way.” They called and checked in on me. They offered services and support. ASCNYC gave me a second chance when I needed it most.
I completed rehab. I joined ASCNYC’s recovery support group, which keeps me grounded. I re-engaged with ASCNYC’s onsite mental health counseling services—my backbone of support. I took a three-day training to become a certified Peer Intern in ASCNYC’s Peer Training Institute. I’m joining a life-skills workshop and getting all kinds of other support.
ASCNYC welcomed me back with open arms. They told me, “You know, Dennis, the possibilities are still endless for you, depending on how you view your situation and the actions you choose going forward.” ASCNYC really boosted me up, and that’s what this organization is all about: Second chances. New beginnings. The opportunity to take back my power and learn from my mistakes.
The truth is, for most people, relapse is part of the recovery process. Being honest and telling my story is part of my recovery process. I’m not ashamed of my relapse because I can pinpoint why it happened and I’m more conscious and self-aware about my relapse triggers. With support from ASCNYC, I’m focusing on what’s most important: staying clean, taking my HIV medications, participating in healthy relationships, and respecting myself and my body. That’s what this New Year is all about for me.
—Dennis, ASCNYC Peer Educator


Program Close-Up: Helping New Yorkers Overcome Addiction

In keeping with our mission to promote Positive Change for New Yorkers with HIV and other chronic conditions who are seeking health, recovery, and a better future, ASCNYC provides a spectrum of substance abuse prevention, harm reduction, and treatment services. For many, ASCNYC offers the second chance they have been waiting for all their lives.
Harm reduction services are the centerpiece of our work, reaching over 1,000 people each year. Harm reduction is proven to be effective in guiding active substance users through a series of “stages of change”—pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance—that promote recovery, risk reduction, and well-being.
In 2015, ASCNYC launched its first outpatient substance abuse treatment clinic, licensed by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). The clinic is located in our Washington Heights community service site, and provides personalized recovery services such as individual and family counseling, support groups, relapse prevention, and specialized services for marijuana users.
We also provide peer-delivered recovery support programs that help people to sustain long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug use, and to reduce the spread of HIV, STIs, and viral hepatitis. Peers Educators who have grappled with and overcome chemical dependency are extremely effective guides for persons who are taking their first tentative steps toward recovery.
ASCNYC’s comprehensive services, peer-delivered support, and welcoming approach have helped thousands of New Yorkers overcome addiction, rebuild their lives, and embrace Positive Change in all its forms.
Join us
Save the Dates!
New York's Best in Drag
Monday, May 9, 2016
Doors: 6:30PM Show: 7:00PM

ASCNYC Poetry Reading
at Barnes & Noble Union Square
Thursday, April 21, 2016
6:00PM - 7:30PM

Start the new year off right by joining ASCNYC's team of awesome volunteers!

Visit or 
Text "PosChange" to 69866 to donate today.
ASCNYC Positive Change Video

Become a part of ASCNYC’s growing network of supporters and get to know our work even better by checking out our powerful new video with stories of Positive Change in action!


In January, ASCNYC was—for the 17th year in a row—the beneficiary of the enormous generosity of Team New York Aquatics, a Masters-level swim, water polo, and diving team for members and friends of New York City’s LGBT community.
Every year, Team New York Aquatics holds a special fundraiser called the One Hour Swim in which participants swim for 60 minutes nonstop—all for a good cause. Team New York Aquatics has been a loyal friend to ASCNYC since 2004, when it first selected our organization as one of its beneficiaries. We’re grateful to Team New York Aquatics for its $10,000 donation and longstanding support of our work!
Did You Know?

ASCNYC’s new Impact Updateis available for download!

Learn more about our work and meet some of the amazing people who’ve embraced Positive Change.

ASCNYC promotes Positive Change for New Yorkers seeking health, recovery, and a better future as they navigate life with HIV and other chronic health conditions.

At ASCNYC, we help our clients overcome addiction, access medical care to get their health back on track, escape homelessness, rejoin the world of work, replace isolation with community, and lead healthier and more self-sufficient lives.
Learn more at
Copyright © 2016 ASCNYC, All rights reserved.
Photos: David Nager/ASCNYC
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