The first Black PrEP clinic in Los Angeles opened Wednesday, February 7, which also marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (#NBHAAD). PrEP stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis” and in this instance refers to taking the daily pill Truvada as a way to prevent getting HIV.
The clinic is located at the Black AIDS Institute, which launched the clinic in partnership with St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, a federally qualified community health center. It’s the latest effort to offer direct services in Los Angeles, according to an announcement from the institute. A Black men’s primary care clinic is slated to open near Leimert Park in the spring, and a Black gay men’s drop-in center will begin operation in Compton in the fall.
As POZ explains in the PrEP section of our HIV Basics, scientists estimate that when Truvada is taken daily, it reduces the risk of contracting HIV by 99 percent or more among men who have sex with men (MSM) and 90 percent or more among women. (The risk reduction for women may very well be greater than 90 percent, but there isn’t sufficient research available to refine the estimate. For more on that, click here.)
In related news, Phill Wilson, the leader of the Black AIDS Institute, announced his retirement as part of several changes taking place at the organization. For our POZ write-up, click here. And to read more about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, click here.