BY BTL STAFF
LANSING – Michigan has received funds to expand awareness of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.
A new $475,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was given to help increase PrEP awareness in Wayne County over the next three years where populations most at risk for HIV is highest, particularly among men who have sex with men and the transgender community.
As of January 2014, there were 7,041 persons living with HIV and approximately 380 new HIV infections each year in Wayne County.
“A single pill taken consistently every day is highly effective in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV when taken as prescribed,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “This has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and shown to be effective in preventing the transmission of HIV in adults.”
PrEP is a prevention tool in the effort to reduce the number of new HIV cases and improve the health of Michigan residents. The CDC dedicated funding will allow MDHHS to develop the necessary tools and educational campaigns to reach those persons who will benefit from PrEP. Prior to this funding, MDHHS supported PrEP by sharing CDC guidance to providers and publishing a list of physicians who prescribed PrEP in Michigan.
Awareness and educational efforts will focus on reaching residents at risk as well as HIV test counselors, disease intervention specialists, health department staff and providers. The tools, including a risk assessment and readiness assessment, will look at common factors to ensure that PrEP is successful in preventing new HIV infections in Wayne County. The educational campaign focuses on persons who are at a higher risk for HIV and will provide education and information about PrEP and resources in the community.
For more information about PrEP or to view the statewide directory of PrEP providers, visit http://www.michigan.gov/hivstd.