Media: Terry Roethlein, 347-449-2881
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ACT UP Hastens Release of NYS DOH Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Guidelines
Calls for New York State to Allocate Funds for Public and Provider PrEP Education
NEW YORK CITY – JANUARY 21, 2014 – AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power/New York (ACT UP/NY) applauds the release by New York State’s Department of Health (NYS DOH) AIDS Institute of clinical guidelines for the use of Pre-Exposure Prohylaxis, or PrEP, to reduce HIV transmission. PrEP is a daily dose of the HIV medication Truvada that can prevent HIV infection if taken before exposure. The guidelines, which are available publicly at http://www.hivguidelines.org/clinical-guidelines/pre-exposure-prophylaxis/guidance-for-the-use-of-pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep-to-prevent-hiv-transmission/, were released on January 14th due to pressure from ACT UP NY.
“While we’re glad to see the creation and availability of these guidelines by the AIDS Institute,” says ACT UP member Terry Roethlein, “the NYS DOH dragged its heels for months over their release, which was originally promised to us last fall. The fact that the guidelines are available at the beginning of 2014 at all is the direct result of consistent pressure and communication with the AIDS Institute by ACT UP and its numerous allies.”
Since the July, 2012 FDA approval of Truvada for PrEP, over 5,000 New Yorkers have seroconverted, according to Centers for Disease Control statistical data.
ACT UP demands the following crucial next steps be taken immediately by New York State to ensure the timely reduction of overall HIV infection rates of the residents of New York State:
· NYS DOH AIDS Institute must pursue comprehensive, statewide implementation of PrEP by actively pursuing much more expansive enrollment in broad-based, PrEP-related continuing medical education (CME’s) courses for healthcare providers. An awareness campaign targeting healthcare providers is also necessary.
· NYS DOH AIDS Institute must implement an innovative, explicit public education campaign targeting communities that could most benefit from PrEP. Recent NYS DOH data shows that men who have sex with men (MSM), young MSM of color, and transgender women have disproportionate rates of HIV infection.
· NYS DOH AIDS Institute must administer grants to healthcare organizations to make PrEP available to at risk poor and uninsured patients and must provide easily accessible information on available resources.
· Governor Cuomo and the State of New York must affirm their commitment to the HIV community’s “Plan to End AIDS” by convening a previously promised task force comprised of medical providers, community and social service providers, people living with HIV/AIDS, health care activists, and city and state officials. New York State must also expand the budget for HIV treatment and prevention, thus reducing transmission rates by using treatment to lower communities’ viral loads and by promoting more innovative chemical prophylaxes like PrEP and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).
Founded in 1987, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. ACT UP meets every Monday night in New York City at the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street off 7th Ave.