(Ohio) – AIDS Resource Center Ohio (ARC Ohio) and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County call for the support of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a groundbreaking biomedical intervention to stop the spread of HIV. Read the official letter from the Public – Dayton & Montgomery County to Medical Providers.
“While we do not yet have a true vaccine to prevent HIV, we do have the next best thing,” states Bill Hardy, President and CEO of ARC Ohio.
PrEP or Pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a once daily pill (Truvada) taken to reduce the likelihood of contracting HIV. When taken every day, PrEP can be up to 99% effective at preventing HIV. PrEP has gained support from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and leading HIV prevention, treatment and advocacy organizations across the country. ARC Ohio and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County are proud to endorse PrEP as an HIV prevention method that will help stop the spread of HIV.
“It is critical for our community to recognize the significance of this new HIV intervention and the impact it will have in the fight against HIV,” says Bryan Bucklew, President of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association and Board Chair for ARC Ohio.
PrEP is the first major medical breakthrough in the prevention of HIV in 30 years and is available by prescription from a PrEP provider, such as ARC Ohio’s Dayton Medical Center and Pharmacy. Insurance providers, including Medicaid, cover the cost of PrEP – and assistance is available for those who need it to help eliminate barriers to care. Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County is launching a countywide call-to-action for healthcare providers to discuss, screen, administer or refer high-risk patients for PrEP.
Jeff Cooper, Montgomery County Health Commissioner, explains, “ PrEP can be major benefit for our community as another tool to prevent to spread of HIV, prevent the suffering associated with this disease, and prevent all the medical expenses created by each case.”
According to the Ohio Department of Health, as of June 30, 2014, there were 1,274 persons known to be living with HIV/AIDS in Montgomery County, with 73 new infections reported in 2013. An additional 300 individuals are presumed infected, but not yet diagnosed. Montgomery County’s rate (238.4 cases per 100,000) is fourth out of 88 counties for persons known to be living with HIV or AIDS, and when compared to other major metropolitan areas in the state, it also stands fourth. Infection rates per 100,000 people in other Ohio metropolitan counties are as follows: Franklin (348.8), Cuyahoga (323.9), and Hamilton (319.3).
Young people ages 15-29 in Montgomery County accounted for 50 percent of new cases of HIV or AIDS diagnoses as of June 30, 2014. Nationally, and in Montgomery County, the number of infections in this age group has significantly and consistently increased over the last five years. Youth of color and young men who have sex with men of all races and ethnicities continue to be at greatest risk.
To help promote awareness and the use of PrEP, in June ARC Ohio launched a statewide campaign, “Let’s talk about PrEP.” The campaign especially targeted communities where HIV continues to have the largest impact. The campaign also includes the website www.ohioprep.org.
About AIDS Resource Center Ohio (ARC Ohio)
AIDS Resource Center Ohio (ARC Ohio) is one of the nation’s leading community-based, not-for-profit provider of a comprehensive, coordinated and cutting-edge response to HIV/AIDS, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment. It uses a holistic approach to address the physical, emotional and social needs of those living with HIV/AIDS in a way that brings hope, healing and empowerment. With 13 offices in 10 cities, this year they will provide medical care, pharmacy and other direct services to nearly 5,000 HIV-positive individuals, including 1,200 who will be receiving medical care and other services at their new and highly-acclaimed Columbus and Dayton Medical Centers and Pharmacies. Tens of thousands more are reached though evidence-based testing, prevention and outreach; Camp Sunrise for children; and the Ohio AIDS Coalition.
To find out more about Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County, visit PHDMC.org. The