Watch “Portraits of PrEP” Boost your knowledge of drugs to prevent HIV

From Monday October 24th to Monday October 31st is PrEP Aware Week 2022, an HIV prevention medication awareness campaign. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV is available in the United States as tablets taken daily or as an injection given every two months.

The theme for PrEP Aware Week 2022 is “Portraits of PrEP”. Thus, the campaign features eight New Yorkers who take PrEP discussing their experiences to raise awareness of the HIV prevention method. You can watch videos of PrEP Ambassadors on the campaign’s YouTube channel and website. Another sample video is below:

The AIDS Institute of New York launched PrEP Aware Week in 2019. Although a New York State initiative, the idea is catching on across the country, multiple cities and organizations using PrEP Aware Week to promote HIV prevention campaigns and events. For example, here is a campaign from Reading, Pennsylvania:

PrEP is very effective in preventing HIV. The POZ basics on pre-exposure prophylaxis offer more details and a brief history:

When antiretroviral drugs accumulate in the human body, they can prevent HIV from replicating and establishing an infection. PrEP was approved in 2012 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the requirement that it be used every day, even during times of minimal or low-risk sexual activity. Studies are exploring intermittent dosing strategies (eg, using PrEP only during high-risk times) as well as different drugs that could be used as PrEP. In 2021, the first long-acting injectable form of PrEP was approved.

PrEP only works if you take it. Data from the iPrEx trial show that daily adherence to oral PrEP reduces HIV risk between 96% and more than 99%. Those who took four doses a week remained fully protected, and those who took two reduced their risk of contracting HIV by 76%. Data from the HPTN 083 and HPTN 084 studies showed that long-acting injectable regimens are even more effective than PrEP pills in preventing HIV acquisition.

The awareness campaign comes as PrEP coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being debated in court. (Per federal guidelines, PrEP is currently covered by the ACA.) For a collection of POZ articles on this HIV prevention, click #PrEP. You will find titles such as:

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