Let’s Equip All New Yorkers with Naloxone to Prevent Overdoses

Sharen I. Duke, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Alliance for Positive Change, issued the following statement today in response to the U.S, Surgeon General’s recommendation for more widespread distribution of life-saving naloxone kits:

"Our city, state and nation are facing an unprecedented opioid epidemic in recent years, and the Surgeon General’s recommendation hopefully will raise more alarm that it takes more than government and healthcare providers to save lives – it takes everyday people. People who can be the first to respond when they are equipped with the skills and naloxone, and spot someone on the subway, on the street, or even in their homes, who may be overdosing.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in our country, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths. As the Surgeon General notes, every day we lose 115 people to opioid overdose in this country – one person every 12½ minutes.

Ask yourself: if you saw someone overdosing on the street, would you know what to do? Most people would not, but there are simple steps you can take to save someone’s life, and it begins with recognizing the signs of an overdose and knowing how to respond quickly. At Alliance, we want to help New Yorkers step up to save a life and give that person a second chance.”

Empowering New Yorkers to #SaveALife


Drug overdoses have reached an all-time high during the ongoing opioid crisis. In 2016 alone, there were 1,374 unintentional drug overdose deaths in New York City, a staggering 46% increase from the prior year.

CONSIDER THIS: A New Yorker dies from an overdose every 7 hours.

We are doing our part to address this epidemic - by launching the #SaveALife campaign.

Through #SaveALife, we plan to raise $5,000 to train 100 New Yorkers on how to spot the signs of an overdose and administer naloxone, a lifesaving drug that reverses opioid overdose. A generous board member has already committed to matching the first $2,000 that we raise.

Join us. #SaveALife. Visit us at alliance.nyc/savealife or text #savealife to 844-544-7171.

Positive Change on QPTV

Ebony Ross, Director of Development & Planning at The Alliance for Positive Change, and Jeff Simmons, Executive Vice President, Anat Gerstein, Inc., appeared on QPTV in December to discuss the Alliance's programs and services, and a campaign to raise money to provide home improvement kits to New Yorkers who are making a positive change in their lives.

Today Show Highlights Positive Change

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, the Today Show features Leslie, an Alliance Peer and Community Health Worker, as part of its ‘Walk in My Shoes’ series. Leslie shares how the Alliance community has supported her as an HIV-positive woman, and how she has leveraged her own experiences to help others to live better, feel better, and do better. Read the full story here.

With your support, we can continue to inspire positive change for New Yorkers like Leslie.

Creating #PositiveHomes for the Holidays

Teresa, an Alliance participant, receives a #PositiveHomes kit with dishes, pots and pans. (Credit: David Handschuh)

Teresa, an Alliance participant, receives a #PositiveHomes kit with dishes, pots and pans. (Credit: David Handschuh)

At The Alliance for Positive Change, we make sure people facing HIV/AIDS, chronic health conditions, and substance use disorder can take positive steps so they can feel better, live better, and do better. 

Many of the people who come to the Alliance for help are struggling with homelessness, and are seeking a fresh start. We help these New Yorkers to improve their health and their homes. We equip them with some of the tools they need to get back on their feet, and that starts with starting a home. 

With your support, our #PositiveHomes for the Holidays initiative will create 50 #PositiveHomes packages that contain a number of essential  items - and your support helps them make a fresh start - through the December holiday season.

Our #PositiveHomes starter kits can include:

  • Bed linen and towels (including pillows, blankets)
  • Toiletries (including soap, toothbrushes,  shampoo)
  • Kitchen supplies (including dishes, utensils, plates, pots, mugs)
  • Cleaning supplies (including hand soap, bins, dustpans, laundry tablets)
  • Clothing (including scarves and gloves for the winter season). 
  • Food items (inciuding instant coffee, canned goods, long-lasting foods)

A generous board member has promised to match the first $2,500 donated.  Your support is crucial to transform lives and make positive change. 

In Response to President Trump's Opioid Announcement

Sharen I. Duke, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Alliance for Positive Change, issued the following statement today in response to President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency:

“We welcome today’s announcement by the President declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.   The growing opioid epidemic is devastating individuals and families across our country, and requires urgent and sweeping attention.   However, the President’s action needs to go further—and must include the allocation of NEW resources to fight the opioid epidemic—that means more funding for overdose prevention education, syringe exchange, and distribution of Narcan (overdose reversal drug).

“Existing federal programs, like the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, currently offer services for people facing substance use and mental health challenges.  Diverting existing budgetary allotments that are designated to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS and other illnesses will harm the public health, rather than respond with needed resources to combat the escalating opioid epidemic.

“Currently, 175 Americans reportedly die each day from opioid use, and New York City has been at the epicenter of this epidemic, with 1,374 confirmed overdose deaths in 2016 – an alarming 46% increase over the previous year. We cannot – and do not – view this in a silo, as substance use is closely tied to greater rates of HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.

“At The Alliance for Positive Change, we promote a “harm reduction” philosophy of care that meets people where they are, providing support and tools to address social barriers to health—poverty, mental illness, substance use, homelessness, unemployment—that continue unabated for so many communities. It is through harm reduction and expanded syringe access programs that we have successfully reduced new HIV infections among active substance users. 

“While our President has branded the epidemic “a public health emergency,” in order for our country to become, as Mr. Trump said, “the generation that ends this crisis,” we need the President and Secretary of Health to earmark additional funding.” 


Positive Change in The Wall Street Journal



We have some amazing news to share. Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article describing how The Alliance for Positive Change has transformed our programs and services to reach more New Yorkers.
You can read the full story here.
Over the last 27 years, the Alliance has been meeting the healthcare needs of New Yorkers in need so they can feel better, live better, and do better.
Today’s article is a testament to the hard work and commitment of so many people – our staff, Board, Peers, and partners like you – who have taken the first steps to bring Positive Change to their lives.

There is still much more work ahead. HIV/AIDS is still with us, and we are working hard to End the Epidemic. The opioid epidemic is still impacting many homes and communities, and we are seeing greater numbers of people walk through our doors seeking help.



Sharen I. Duke, Directora Ejecutiva Fundadora y Presidenta de The Alliance for Positive Change, hizo pública la siguiente declaración con respecto al Día Nacional Latino para la Concientización del SIDA el 15 de octubre:

“En este día de concientización nacional, reiteramos nuestro compromiso con la prevención, realización de pruebas, tratamientos y cuidados de los Latinos y Latinas neoyorkinos. Las comunidades latinas de nuestra ciudad se ven afectadas de manera desproporcionada por el VIH/SIDA, debido a una variedad de factores convergentes, como la barrera idiomática, la homofobia y la transfobia y la falta de seguro médico”.

“En The Alliance, donde más de un tercio de nuestros participantes son Latinos y Latinas, luchamos para destruir estos obstáculos y lograr que las personas estén mejor, se sientan mejor, vivan mejor”.

“Es importante para nosotros acabar con la epidemia del VIH/SIDA en todas nuestras comunidades. Sin embargo, en el seno de la comunidad latina existe una gran urgencia en revertir una tendencia inquietante: un aumento en los diagnósticos de VIH en la población latina de Nueva York, de un 32% en 2014 a un 36% en 2015 –una taza más alta que la de todos los neoyorquinos”.

“Sin embargo, tenemos noticias prometedoras. Un nuevo reporte del Departamento de Salud e Higiene Mental de la ciudad de Nueva York publicó que los adolescentes y adultos latinos están más dispuestos a hacerse la prueba de VIH que los no-latinos, y que 75% de los nuevos diagnósticos recibieron tratamiento a tiempo, aún si 22% de los adultos latinos no tienen seguro médico”.

“En este día de concientización, alienta a tus amigos, a tu familia y a tus colegas a que den el primer paso, que visiten una de nuestras instalaciones y se hagan la prueba del VIH. Juntos podemos acabar con este epidemia”.


Sharen I. Duke, Founding Executive Director and CEO of The Alliance for Positive Change, released the following statement in recognition of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day on Sunday, October 15:

“On this national day of awareness, we reinforce our commitment to prevention, testing, treatment, and care for Latinx New Yorkers. Our city’s Latinx communities are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS due to a variety of converging factors, such as language barriers, homophobia and transphobia, and lack of health insurance.

"At the Alliance, where more than 1/3 of our program participants are Latinx, we strive to dismantle these obstacles so people can feel better, live better, and do better.

"It’s important to us to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic among all communities, and there is great urgency among the Latinx community to obtain tailored treatment and care. New HIV diagnoses are on the rise in New York City among Latinx, up from 32 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2015 – higher than the rate among all New Yorkers.

"Nevertheless, there is some promising news. A new report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene noted that Latinx teens and adults are more likely than non-Latinx to get tested for HIV, and 75 percent of the newly-diagnosed receive timely care, even though 22 percent of Latinx adults are uninsured.

"On this awareness day, encourage your friends, family members and coworkers to take a first step – to visit one of our sites and get tested. Together, we can end this epidemic.”