A new PrEP campaign set up by the Los Angeles LGBT Centre is hoping to raise awareness around the HIV prevention drug with the slogan “F*ck w/out Fear, PrEP Here”.
Officially launched on Sunday, January 8, the campaign hopes to educate sexually active gay men about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a safe and effective tool to prevent HIV infection. PrEP involves taking a medicine once-daily that, if used correctly, has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 99 percent.
The West Hollywood campaign also promotes the use of condoms to prevent STI’s other than HIV.
“It’s widely believed that a two-pronged approach is what will be most effective at ending the transmission of HIV in the U.S.,” said Robert Bolan M.D., Los Angeles LGBT Center chief medical officer.
“Quickly linking newly diagnosed HIV-positive people to care can reduce or eliminate the risk they can transmit the virus; it’s the same treatment effect for people who have been living with HIV for a while or a long time. Then if HIV-uninfected people who are most at-risk of infection successfully protect themselves from the virus, we can effectively end HIV transmission here. Because the availability of condoms alone hasn’t been enough to stop HIV, we’re excited about the promise of PrEP.”
“We’ve got the tools to not only end the fear of HIV but to end it as an epidemic. Those at risk have to know about the tools, though, and they need honest information about them,” said Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings. “Our campaign provides the truth about PrEP, the information, and support to help people get a prescription and a reminder that condoms are necessary to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.”
PrEPHere.org, the campaign website, includes a unique online tool to help gay and bisexual men determine how strong a candidate they are for PrEP. Based on data collected from people who have tested for HIV at the Center and from research published in the peer-reviewed journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, the short quiz helps users determine their “PrEP score” and make a more informed decision about whether PrEP is right for them.