Harlem United PrEP’s Us For Honors National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7, 2017

In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, today Harlem United released PrEP Conversations,” a new video series focused on raising awareness and educating communities of color about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is a pill that is over 90% effective at preventing HIV infection when taken consistently. Part of Harlem United’s award-winning Swallow This campaign, the videos feature PrEP users who represent communities at highest risk for new HIV infection, including Black and Latino men and women who have sex with men and individuals in couples where only one partner is HIV positive.

PrEP Conversations videos include:

  • Is PrEP for You?
  • Is PrEP Easy to Take?
  • PrEP Myths
  • Getting Personal with PrEP
  • Getting Started with PrEP

Originally launched in 2015, the goal of Swallow This is to raise awareness and education about PrEP among communities of color in upper Manhattan. In the first year, Swallow This print ads, featured in bus stops, kiosks, phone booths, bodegas, grocery stores, and bars, received over 78 million impressions. Digital ads on social media and Grindr received over 13 million digital impressions. The remarkable success of Swallow This extended its reach to a national audience, and in November 2016 it earned a prestigious Silver Davey Award.

“We will not end the AIDS epidemic unless we break through the barriers to wide-scale use of PrEP among communities of color,” said Jacqui Kilmer, CEO of Harlem United. “Half of Black gay and bisexual men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime if current trends continue. Just as shocking, the rate of HIV infection among Black women is 20 times higher than the rate among White women. Despite these alarming trends, only one in ten PrEP users is African American. This is why Harlem United has worked closely with funders to make a $600,000 investment over the first two years of our Swallow This campaign.”

The release of PrEP Conversations follows the launch in October of Swallow This 2.0, which expands on the original print and digital advertisements to include more racially and ethnically diverse men, as well as Black women. The new PrEP Conversations videos raise the campaign to the next level, from awareness to education, by inviting real PrEP users to address common questions and to decrease stigma. The ads and videos link to a new home for PrEP content on Harlem United’s website that includes a link to health care professionals for a PrEP consultation.

“Swallow This is not just a provocative image, it’s a highly successful, engaging campaign,” added Brian Murphy, Harlem United’s Senior Director of Communications and Marketing. “Hundreds of thousands of people have come to Harlem United’s website to learn more about PrEP, and countless conversations have occurred on social media. The evaluation of our first year found that nearly 70% of survey respondents who saw a Swallow This ad sought more information about PrEP. With Swallow This 2.0, Harlem United is excited to provide that information directly with our PrEP Conversations videos.”

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Harlem United’s new Swallow This 2.0 PrEP Conversations videos and a comprehensive FAQ are available at www.HarlemUnited.org/PrEP

Swallow This print ads are available here.

A summary of evaluation data on the first year of Swallow This is available here.

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