Best Life: Prep for HIV prevention

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 6:47 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) --- June 27th is national HIV Testing Day. This day brings community partners and healthcare providers together to promote testing, prevention, and treatment to reduce the spread of HIV. But a new study shows there may be a breakdown when it comes to prevention.

With new treatments and medications, HIV is no longer a death sentence. That’s especially true for Maricela Berumen who has lived with the disease for nearly 20 years.

“HIV doesn’t have me. I have HIV.”, states Berumen.

In addition to treatments, new advances have been made in in preventing the disease as well. One of the newest tools is a preventive medication called PrEP.

“Only ten percent of the over one million individuals that are really vulnerable to HIV were actually accessing PrEP. This is a once daily medication that individuals can take to significantly reduce their risk of acquiring HIV.”

But a survey of doctors discovered only about half of them prescribed PrEP to HIV-vulnerable patients. So how can someone get access to PrEP? Since a prescription is required, check with a primary doctor first. If you don’t have a doctor, use an HIV services locator to find a local PrEP provider. If medical insurance is a problem, a program called Ready, Set, Prep provides free medications. Giving access to care to end the HIV epidemic.

Another avenue to access PrEP: pharmacists. Colorado, Nevada, and California have all passed laws allowing pharmacists to prescribe PrEP. The study also found that primary care physicians were more likely to prescribe than infectious disease specialists.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer

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