HW Pick: Driving the Conversation Around PrEP In NYC

prep in lgbtTo drive the public conversation around PrEP, Amida Care, Callen-Lorde, and The LGBT Community Center (The Center) hosted a community event and concurrent webinar titled “Get Schooled on PrEP: Know the ABCs.” Presented on November 30, the eve of World AIDS Day, at The Center, the event featured the debut of Callen-Lorde’s groundbreaking new “PrEP 101” video series. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a treatment regimen that works to prevent HIV-negative individuals from becoming infected.

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“PrEP is a critical component of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Blueprint to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State by 2020, which Amida Care is proud to support,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care. “By helping populations at greater risk of infection—such as young men having sex with men (MSM) of color and transgender individuals—to access information and resources on PrEP, we aim to help prevent and ultimately eradicate new HIV infections.”

A key feature of the event was a panel discussion with five panelists—including a current PrEP user and medical provider—that offered professional and personal insight into PrEP and how it serves as a highly effective, groundbreaking HIV prevention tool. The discussion, broadcast live via webinar and moderated by Andrew Seaman, Senior Medical Journalist at Reuters Health, covered the basics of PrEP and beyond—its effectiveness, who should take it,  the need for access, and other issues. The premiere screening of Callen-Lorde’s engaging “PrEP 101” video series brought the importance of PrEP to life, using humor to empower attendees and viewers with the information they need to consider whether PrEP is right for them or those they serve.

“PrEP is an important new addition to the HIV prevention tool kit, and as with any new initiative, we all need to be educated and empowered to make our own health care decisions,” said William J. Nazareth Jr., Director of Creative Media at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. “As the largest provider of PrEP in the nation, Callen-Lorde believes in making PrEP available to all who walk through our doors while understanding that we can’t serve everyone. By training other providers and harnessing the power of social media to make information freely accessible, our aim is to help remove barriers to allow individuals to decide if PrEP is right for them. When everyone has access to life-saving information and services, we get closer to ending the epidemic.”

“One of the vital keys to protecting health is education, and The Center was proud to partner with our colleagues at Callen-Lorde and Amida Care to host this panel to provide detailed information on the facts about PrEP,” said Glennda Testone, Executive Director at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. “It is critical that community leaders facilitate an open, honest conversation about PrEP so that community members have the tools they need to make informed decisions about their health, and so New York State can end this epidemic by 2020.”

For more information on PrEP and to view the PrEP 101 video series, please visit www.callen-lorde.org/prep or www.amidacareny.org/prepABCS.

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