Hot Topics & Press Releases

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) was first observed on June 27, 1995. NHTD is a day to encourage people to get tested for HIV, know their status, and get linked to care and treatment.

While everyone should know his/her HIV status, testing is particularly important for those who have:

  • Injected drugs or steroids with others or used shared equipment (e.g. needles, syringes, works) currently or any time in their past
  • Been diagnosed with or been treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia or syphilis
  • Had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with multiple partners, anonymous partners, or men who have sex with men
  • Had sex with a partner they located on the Internet

Numbers You Can Call for Testing

  • Albany Region 800-962-5065
  • Buffalo Region 800-962-5064
  • Lower Hudson Valley Region 800-828-0064
  • Rochester Region 800-962-5063
  • Long Island Region (Nassau/Suffolk) 800-462-6786
  • Syracuse Region 800-562-9423

Additionally, the National HIV and STD Testing Resource website at allows visitors to enter a zip code and find local testing sites in that area. Cell phone users can send a text message containing their zip code to "KNOWIT" (566948) and within seconds receive a return text message listing an HIV testing site in that area.

Persons seeking general information on HIV can call the New York State Health Department's hotlines:

  • English 1800-541-AIDS (2437)
  • Spanish 1800-233-SIDA (7432)
  • Deaf/TDD 1800-369-AIDS (2437)

Fight the Bite Campaign


Wayne County, New York - The Wayne County Public Health (WCPH) Department is launching a "Fight the Bite" campaign to reduce possible health risks involving ticks and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can be carriers of several diseases, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Ticks can possibly carry several diseases, including Lyme disease. WCPH is urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito and tick bites and protect themselves from potential exposure to these illness as we enter into the spring and summer months ahead. Remove and standing water that may exist around the home.Mosquito Breeding Locations

These are areas where mosquitoes breed, adding to their high populations, and ruining your nice summer evenings outdoors!


Ticks are very small and hard to notice unless you look for them. Removing a tick quickly, and correctly, is important!

Tick Size Comparison

When removing a tick, use needle point tweezers. Grasp the tick by the head, as close to your skin as possible. With steady and gentle pressure, pull straight up away from the skin.

Tick Removal Instructions

Wash the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Note: "Home remedies" such as covering the tick in Vaseline, or using heat from a match or lighter, do not work.

Blue Green Algae

As we move into the summer months ahead, and water related activities increase, it is important to be aware of your safety when swimming, boating, and fishing in our numerous waters of Wayne County. Blue green algae can be a health risk, so it is important to follow all posted signs about the water safety in your area. 

Blue-Green Algae Bloom

For more updates, you can check back here, or by following Wayne County Public Health on our Facebook Page.

OASAS Launches New Veterans' Web Page

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez announced that OASAS has launched a new veterans' web page on the OASAS website that contains resources and information specifically for veterans, returning service members and their families struggling with addiction to alcohol and other substances. 

"Far too many of our veterans, including those who have recently returned from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, are facing the very difficult issues of addiction to pain killers, alcohol and other substances," said Commissioner González-Sánchez. "In observance of Veterans Day, OASAS is pleased to launch this new veterans' web page filled with essential resources to assist veterans throughout the State. 

OASAS has also implemented new protocols within its 24-hour, toll-free HOPEline (1-877-8-HOPENY) that require telephone operators and counselors to ask callers if they have ever served in the military and, if so, would they like to receive information on veterans-specific services offered through OASAS. 

OASAS oversees one of the nation's largest addiction services systems with more than 1,600 prevention, treatment and recovery programs. OASAS treatment programs assist about 100,000 people on any given day and more than 240,000 individuals every year.

E-cigarettes, Hookahs & Cigars Gaining Popularity Among Teens

The use of emerging tobacco products like e-cigarettes, hookahs (or water pipes) and cigars increased among teens in 2012, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the same time, there was no significant decline in cigarette smoking or overall tobacco use among U.S. middle and high school students. The new data, taken from the CDC's 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), was highlighted in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

  • Recent electronic cigarette use rose among middle school students from 0.6% in 2011 to 1.1% in 2012, and among high school students from 1.5% to 2.8%. 
  • Hookah (or water pipe) use among high school students rose from 4.1% to 5.4% from 2011 to 2012. 

The report notes that the increase in the use of electronic cigarettes and hookahs could be due to an increase in marketing, availability, and visibility of these tobacco products and the perception that they may be safer alternatives to cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, hookahs, cigars and certain other new types of tobacco products are not currently subject to FDA regulation. FDA has stated it intends to issue a proposed rule that would deem products meeting the statutory definition of a "tobacco product" to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Another area of concern in the report is the increase in cigar use among certain groups of middle and high school students. 

During 2011 to 2012, cigar use increased dramatically among non-Hispanic black high school students from 11.7% to 16.7%, and has more than doubled since 2009. Further, cigar use among high school males in 2012 was 16.7%, similar to cigarette use among high school males (16.3%). "This report raises a red flag about newer tobacco products," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Cigars and hookah tobacco are smoked tobacco - addictive and deadly. We need effective action to protect our kids from addiction to nicotine."

Five Important Reasons to Immunize Your Child

You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates, and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?

  • Immunizations can save your child's life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated completely and others are close to being gone - primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. One example of the great impact vaccines can have is the eradication of polio in the United States. Polio was once America 's most-feared disease causing death and paralysis across the country but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.
  • Vaccination is safe and effective. All vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. The most comprehensive scientific studies and reviews have not found a link between vaccines and autism. Groups of experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies also agree that vaccines are not responsible for the number of children now recognized to have autism.
  • Immunization protects others you care about. Serious vaccine-preventable diseases still occur. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive vaccinations due to allergies, illness, weakened immune systems, or other reasons. To help keep these individuals safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.
  • Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be kept out of schools or daycare facilities. A prolonged illness can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills, or long-term disability care. In comparison, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. Find out more about the VFC program, or ask your child's healthcare provider.
  • Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations before. For example, smallpox vaccination helped eradicate that disease world wide. Your children don't have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. If we keep vaccinating now, parents in the future may be able to trust that diseases like polio and measles won't infect, cripple, or kill children.

Get more information about the importance of infant immunization.

Parents can contact your child's physician or call WCPHS at 946-5749. Together we can protect our children and keep them healthy.