staying powerNEWS AND NOTES

Be PrEPared

Medication can reduce risk of HIV

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a new medication regimen that can prevent HIV infection, is now available at UHS. The drug is designed for people who are HIV-negative but whose lifestyles place them at especially high risk of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

“PrEP is a daily medicine that can reduce a person’s chance of getting the virus,” said Scott Rosman, NP-C, AAHIVS, a nurse practitioner with UHS Primary Care Binghamton. “It can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body.”

Daily use of PrEP reduces the risk of getting the virus from sex by more than 90 percent and, among people who inject drugs, by more than 70 percent.

PrEP may benefit people who share needles or equipment to inject drugs. People — especially gay and bisexual men — who have an HIV-positive partner, have multiple partners whose HIV status is unknown, have unprotected sex, or recently had a sexually transmitted disease, are also candidates for PrEP.

UHS is collaborating with the New York State and Broome County health departments to inform and educate the public about the availability of PrEP. Offering the medication is one of the ways UHS is working in tandem with a plan drafted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to halt the AIDS epidemic in the Empire State. The plan aims to move New York from a history of having the worst HIV epidemic in the country to a future where new infections are rare and those living with the disease have normal lifespans with few complications.

ARE YOU AT RISK? …
PrEP is available at UHS Primary Care Binghamton. Call the PrEP coordinator at 762-3300 to find out if you are eligible. The PrEP coordinator will guide you through appointment scheduling, insurance and payment options, and follow-up.