This blog post was written by Dawn Socha, Social Worker, and Danica Keeton, Director of Development and Community Relations, at Community Health Systems.
Each year, over 30,000 new HIV infections occur in the U.S. In 2020, as a part of the Wisconsin HIV Surveillance Annual Report, 6,926 Wisconsinites are known to be living with HIV, and an estimated 1,109 additional people may be living with HIV in Wisconsin but are not currently aware of their diagnosis. Currently, 50% of new HIV cases in the U.S. occur among Black and Latino gay and bisexual men. Slightly more than 15% occur among heterosexual women, roughly three-quarters of whom are women of color. The good news is, there are ways to reduce the risk of getting HIV, and one of them is known as PrEP.
What is PrEP?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, more commonly known as PrEP, is a medication taken daily to reduce your risk of getting HIV. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV infection.
Watch the below video to learn more about what PrEP is and how it works.
Reasons for taking PrEP
- PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%.
- PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from injection drug use by at least 74%.
- PrEP is covered under most insurance providers
BACHC can assist you with managing your condition. Resources are available to you, through a partnership with UW Health, so that you can receive the care you need. Financial support for uninsured or underinsured is available through our Ryan White program.
Is PrEP right for you?
- If you are HIV negative and any of the following are true, PrEP may be right for you:
- Use condoms sometimes or not at all
- Have sex with people with an unknown HIV status
- Have an HIV positive partner with a detectable or unknown viral load
- Had an STD in the past 6 months
- Inject drugs and share needles, syringes, or other injection equipment or have a partner who injects drugs
You can learn more about PrEP and other HIV Prevention Methods online at https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html or by working with your Primary Care Provider. If you think PrEP may be right for you or if you have other questions, please schedule an appointment to talk to a provider by calling 608-361-0311 today.