HIV prevention is complex, can be controversial, and is chronically underfunded. But it works. It’s saved lives, and will save many more if brought to the appropriate scope and scale to reach those in need.
It’s well past time to fully provide the proven basics of HIV prevention: accurate, non-stigmatizing sex ed; condoms (including “female condoms”); sterile syringes; STD testing and treatment; and access to harm reduction services and drug treatment.
We can now add post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP, which can prevent HIV infection if administered within 72 hours of activities that carry the risk of transmission) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, in which a person takes a daily dose of an anti-HIV drug to prevent infection from possible exposures], as well as access to treatment for people with HIV to the toolbox. In coming years, vaginal and rectal microbicides will further expand our toolbox.
Many safer sex training materials and methods haven’t been fully updated in decades, include moral judgments about sex, and don’t emphasize the relative risk of different activities. Oral sex is an extremely low risk activity, yet most materials or programs don’t talk about it as an option that is much safer than anal or vaginal sex.
For many, HIV prevention will only work if it is part of a much broader, affirming approach. LGBTQ health, gender justice, women’s sexual empowerment, and non-criminalizing efforts to address the violence, bias and economic marginalization that limits choices in sexuality, drug use and healthcare access are crucial.
CDC’s strategies of “high-impact prevention” (HIP) could help budge stubbornly high incidence rates, by increasing testing and access to treatment, funding “prevention with positives,” promoting policy change and tackling social determinants of health. But in order to reach all, HIP must authentically involve prevention justice advocates and other community members at all stages of planning, roll-out and evaluation.
Download the slides! This webinar by Treatment Action Group (TAG) and HIV PJA presents local and state leaders’ perspectives on the response to the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana, and discusses how best to implement a comprehensive and community-led response to HIV, hepatitis C, and injection drug use in rural America. Thank you to our moderator Jeremiah Johnson from […]
Download the slides! This webinar by Treatment Action Group (TAG), SpeakUP and HIV PJA presents the findings of a new report from TAG that explores the mechanisms and barriers to community mobilization, and will engage participants in a discussion to support more funding, research and dissemination of effective models, which may be critical in the […]
How to measure success Improving our national HIV prevention indicators Download the slides! Last week, Treatment Action Group and HIV PJA collaborated on a webinar discussing about the key HIV prevention indicators and what community advocates and other key stakeholders need to know about how we measure success in our national HIV prevention efforts. Thank you […]
Download the slides! The consequences of stigma among people living with and vulnerable to HIV infection are significant and far-reaching. Stigma is frequently cited as a significant barrier to successful pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, access and utilization. Despite having been approved in the U.S. since 2012, only an estimated 4% of the 1.2 million adults […]
Watched yesterday’s webinar? Take action! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided recently to restrict eligibility for direct HIV prevention funding to community-based organizations (CBOs) located in a limited number of urban areas. As a result, the South has lost critical prevention funding. Take action by joining a letter-writing campaign from the Southern […]