Breaking News
July 18, 2018 - Genome editing method targets AIDS virus
July 18, 2018 - These things matter: Medical complications are not inevitable, a physician writes
July 18, 2018 - Cognitive functions often wilt as water departs the body, shows study
July 18, 2018 - Low-dose ketamine found to be as effective as opioids for treating acute pain
July 18, 2018 - Novel bioengineering technique could help repair bone defects
July 18, 2018 - Researchers identify new potential target protein for colon cancer
July 18, 2018 - Air pollution contributes significantly to diabetes globally
July 18, 2018 - Cell membrane’s importance offers new strategy to fight infections
July 18, 2018 - Researchers identify key protein involved in irregular brain cell activity
July 18, 2018 - 3D modeling of drug resistance could lead to more effective cancer treatment
July 18, 2018 - Hunger hormones could be key to new treatments for drug, alcohol addiction
July 18, 2018 - Nitrate-cured meats may contribute to mania, study finds
July 18, 2018 - Why men may recover more quickly from influenza infections than women
July 18, 2018 - KemPharm Announces Top Line Results from KP415.E01 Efficacy and Safety Trial in Children With ADHD
July 18, 2018 - Self-control and obesity: Gender matters in children
July 18, 2018 - Bioengineers, diabetes researchers convene to discuss future concepts for precision medicine
July 18, 2018 - Practicing yoga benefits pregnant women, study suggests
July 18, 2018 - New strategy may lead to more accurate breast cancer diagnoses
July 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Symtuza (D/C/F/TAF), the First and Only Complete Darunavir-Based Single-Tablet Regimen for the Treatment of HIV-1 Infection
July 18, 2018 - New guide helps hospitals pick right partner to handle hospitalist services
July 18, 2018 - Deep data dive helps predict cerebral palsy
July 18, 2018 - Stricter firearm legislation associated with reduced murder and suicide rates
July 18, 2018 - Physical and sexual abuse in childhood associated with endometriosis risk
July 18, 2018 - Omega 3 supplements do not reduce risk of heart disease, stroke or death
July 18, 2018 - GSA’s new publication provides support for safe use of OTC analgesics by older adults
July 18, 2018 - Researchers receive grant from U.S. Department of Education to study children with HFASD
July 18, 2018 - Early childhood adversity increases sensitivity of the body’s immune response to cocaine
July 18, 2018 - Parental incarceration affects health behaviors of children in adulthood
July 18, 2018 - Researchers find that yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes can carry new virus
July 18, 2018 - Two Regimens Fail to Stop Declines in β-Cell Function
July 18, 2018 - Researchers apply computing power to track the spread of cancer
July 18, 2018 - Olfactory receptors play pathophysiological role in all organs than merely smell perception
July 18, 2018 - Fish consumption associated with lower risk of early death
July 18, 2018 - MR Solutions’ 7T MRI imaging system installed at University of Hawaii
July 18, 2018 - Humorous ads screened around World Cup game achieve higher biometric response than sporty ads
July 18, 2018 - New study demonstrates little effect of hormone therapy on artery thickness
July 18, 2018 - A 3-Pronged Plan to Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk
July 18, 2018 - New clues to sepsis may speed diagnosis
July 18, 2018 - Stars of Stanford Medicine: Improving cardiovascular health in Africa and beyond
July 18, 2018 - Heart attack risk continues to increase among pregnant women, study finds
July 18, 2018 - Few tips to help avoid sunburns in summer
July 18, 2018 - High-fat diet and systemic inflammation contribute to progression of prostate cancer
July 18, 2018 - Researchers develop 3D map of gene interactions that play key role in heart disease
July 18, 2018 - Conservative management of lung subsolid nodules reduces overtreatment and unnecessary surgery
July 18, 2018 - Report warns of dog illness that can spread to owners
July 18, 2018 - A winning essayist’s tips for keeping track of scientific facts
July 18, 2018 - Researchers seek to understand role of APOE mutation in Alzheimer’s disease
July 18, 2018 - Animal studies reveal brain changes responsible for appetite effects of cannabis
July 18, 2018 - New ZEISS ZEN Intellesis machine allows segmentation of correlative microscopy
July 18, 2018 - Study findings highlight importance of early detection of SMA through newborn screening
July 18, 2018 - Results of Phase III (PIX306) Trial Evaluating Progression-Free Survival of Pixuvri (pixantrone) Combined with Rituximab in Patients with Aggressive B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
July 18, 2018 - Diabetes researchers find switch for fatty liver disease
July 18, 2018 - The future of the microbiome: A conversation
July 18, 2018 - States attacking ACA would hurt most if shield on preexisting conditions were axed
July 18, 2018 - Novel delivery system for bacteriophages could offer new way to battle lung infections
July 18, 2018 - PTSD may increase risk of stroke, heart attack in World Trade Center response crews
July 18, 2018 - Finding the right protective eyewear for young athletes
July 18, 2018 - Routine screening, treatment could help stem nationwide opioid epidemic
July 17, 2018 - AI and radar technologies could help diabetics manage their disease
July 17, 2018 - New Stanford algorithm could improve diagnosis of many rare genetic diseases
July 17, 2018 - Burdensome symptoms of eczema can lead to impaired quality of life, shows study
July 17, 2018 - Sartorius Stedim Biotech and Penn State partner to advance teaching, research in biotechnology
July 17, 2018 - Researchers map family trees of cancer cells to understand how AML responds to new drug
July 17, 2018 - Mortality from heart failure remains higher in women than men
July 17, 2018 - Can-Fite BioPharma receives Australian and Chinese patents for new drug to treat erectile dysfunction
July 17, 2018 - AAP: Lawnmowers Pose Serious Injury Risk to Children
July 17, 2018 - Fewer U.S. kids are getting cavities
July 17, 2018 - Differences in brain’s reward circuit may explain social deficits in autism
July 17, 2018 - YCC researchers suggest promising treatment for two rare inherited cancer syndromes
July 17, 2018 - FAU and partners receive NIH research grant to shed light on sleep loss and metabolic disorders
July 17, 2018 - Advanced MRI technique predicts risk of disease progression in MS
July 17, 2018 - Health Tip: Microwave Safely – Drugs.com MedNews
July 17, 2018 - New target for treating heart failure identified
July 17, 2018 - Biodesign fellows simplify heart rhythm monitoring
July 17, 2018 - Study reveals new risk genes for allergic rhinitis
July 17, 2018 - Community college education can increase physician diversity and access to primary care
July 17, 2018 - Inflection Biosciences’ dual mechanism inhibitor shows promise as treatment for CLL
July 17, 2018 - Researchers uncover how cells invite corrupted proteins inside
July 17, 2018 - Large international study finds new risk genes for hay fever
July 17, 2018 - Studies show HORIBA’s new hematology analyzer improves POCT and care of oncology patients
PrEP campaign aims to block HIV infection and save lives in D.C.

PrEP campaign aims to block HIV infection and save lives in D.C.

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A big part of Washington, D.C.’s plan to get its HIV rate down is to get more uninfected people on PrEP, a two-medicine combination pill that’s sold under the brand name Truvada.

When taken daily by people who are at high risk for contracting HIV via sex or shared needles with someone who is infected, this pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, can cut the risk of HIV infection by 92 percent, studies show.

PrEP has been around for years now, but only a small portion of those at high risk for HIV infection use it, partly because many still don’t know it exists. The medicine is also quite expensive, priced at $1,600 for a month’s supply. It is usually covered by insurance, including Medicaid.

To cut the rate of new infections in half by 2020, D.C. health officials estimate the city will need to more than quadruple the number of residents who are on PrEP. The department of health and community groups are pulling out all the stops to raise awareness.

“Thinking about sex? Then think about PrEP,” one public health commercial says, over video clips of a woman sensually licking an ice cream cone, or a man stroking a golf club. You get the gist.

There are also social media pushes, and an ad campaign called “PrEP for Her” targeting African-American women, who, along with gay and bisexual African-American men, are at high risk of infection in the district.

At a recent conference in the city on LGBTQ issues, Sarah Fleming stopped by the PrEP information table put together by Luis Felipe Cebas of Whitman-Walker Health, a community health center that focuses on providing care to LGBTQ patients.

Fleming told Cebas she’s surprised she had never heard of PrEP. She even got tested for HIV recently.

“They told me nothing about this!” she said. “I was negative — but, I feel like, it’s a preventative, so you should tell people about it.”

Gregorio Millett, vice president and director of public policy at the Foundation for AIDS Research, said some health care providers don’t mention PrEP because of their mistaken belief that it would increase risky sexual behavior; research hasn’t shown that to be the case.

Millett added that there are other reasons why people — especially people of color — haven’t requested PrEP as much as he and other public health officials would like. Some African-Americans distrust the medical community because of historical mistreatment, he said. And there’s still a stigma attached to HIV, especially in some minority communities.

“In order to be prescribed PrEP, you need to be ‘out’ to your provider,” Millett said. “And we see that for African-American men, as well as for Latino gay men, they’re less likely to tell their providers that they are gay or bisexual.”

Several cities across the U.S. — including Seattle, Boston and San Francisco, as well as Washington — are making concerted efforts to overcome these challenges and promote PrEP as a tool for reducing HIV transmission, Millett said.

There are signs of progress in Washington. Whitman-Walker Health has seen a recent uptick in new PrEP patients, including 28-year-old Ricardo Cooper, who lives in the district.

Cooper is gay and HIV-negative. He’s been taking PrEP for a few months, and said he hasn’t experienced many side effects, which can commonly include headaches, nausea and cramping. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these side effects tend to go away over time.

Cooper said taking the drug gives him peace of mind.

“It just makes me feel so much better about engaging in sexual activity,” he said, knowing that he won’t get or transmit HIV to a partner.

He also has found he now talks more openly about HIV, which still carries a lot of stigma among his friends. He said he even walks up to people at bars and sells them on PrEP.

“The professionals can’t really force PrEP on people, but I can,” he chuckled. “And I’ve done that to my friends. It’s like, ‘You don’t have an option.’”

Cooper said, turning serious, that he’s usually a private person but that to him this is important — he wants to do everything he can to spread the word.

“If I need to be the face of PrEP for this African-American community or the communities that are underrepresented — to let them know that, ‘It’s OK, it’s cool, I mean, you should at least try it,’ then I’m perfectly fine with stepping out of myself and doing that,” he said.

Health providers say this kind of community evangelism — along with the bus ads and sexy commercials — will be key to reaching the ultimate goal of ending the HIV epidemic in Washington, D.C.

This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership with Kaiser Health News.

This story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details).

Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles