PrEP 2-1-1 During COVID
Weekend Wrap Message – Saturday, September 26, From David Brinkman, Desert AIDS Project CEO
New HIV infections are continuing in our Valley, and years of our work to reverse this trend are in danger unless we offer the public every prevention method we can.
Most of our clients who are using PrEP to prevent HIV are on the daily dose, and this remains the most effective regiment. For a few, daily dosing is not an option, and we believe in making this lifesaving therapy available to them.
Clinical data indicates that while daily PrEP has shown to be 99% effective in preventing HIV, PrEP 2-1-1 has been shown to be up to 86% effective.
With medication delivery, telephone consults, and sanitized stations for periodic STI testing, clients are preventing HIV while being safely served. You can learn more here.
Seniors Need Protection–Less Isolation
Specialists say social isolation can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, but many people over age 65 in our community are trapped with long-term social seclusion, worsened by this pandemic. We’ve created a medical home for them, with specialized doctors and therapists they can access from home, and a social services team to link them to programs and coverage.
Seniors make up almost 30 percent of this Valley’s population, about double the national average. Because many already identified as physically vulnerable pre pandemic, seniors are experiencing added isolation from adhering to current social distance rules.
As the length of this pandemic takes a toll on even the most resilient seniors, advocates like Dr. Jill Gover, our behavioral health manager contributed to a story in The Desert Sun:
“(Older people) are not willing to take the risk and so they are much more isolated — it was a major problem to begin with and COVID has only exacerbated it.” (read more here)
Untreated HIV Still A Threat
We hope these numbers do not increase as the economy suffers, but people are still developing and dying from AIDS in 2020, right here in the Coachella Valley. Staying in treatment for HIV is not easy for many, but our medical team has the expertise and heart to help anyone re-enter care without judging them.
Our early intervention program had 160 referrals for attempts to find patients who had stopped filling their ART prescriptions, ceasing their HIV treatment without explanation. (Based on calendar year 2019) You can read more here about our work to make sure anyone needing HIV treatment can get it quickly.