Click the play button above to learn if local health organizations think the United States can meet the new CDC director’s goal of ending the AIDS epidemic in the seven years.
Audio Transcript: CentralAIDSPrevention
By J.D. Raucci SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — As people flowed into Central Library on Wednesday morning, they weren’t met with the normal view of books, magazines and computers. What they did see was half a dozen local health organizations lined up with tables and pamphlets.
An event organized by the Syracuse chapter of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA) brought organizations together to spread the word about AIDS prevention. All of it worked toward a goal of ending the epidemic in New York State in the next two years. Many of the health outlets were in support of a new treatment program known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
“PrEP is a daily pill that prevents HIV,” Upstate University Hospital‘s Nicky Jennings said. “So when we have people who we know might be at risk for HIV, they might have some risk in their life for whatever reason, we can have them taking this daily pill that’s over 99-percent effective.”
Upstate was not the only organization at Wednesday’s event that advocated for PrEP.
“[PrEP]’s an old pill called Truvada along with a diagnosed procedure to follow that they take every day,” said Danny Ayers, an outreach peer educator for ACR Health. “It surrounds white blood cells with a protectiveness that will not allow the HIV virus to infect it.”
Along with encouraging the use of PrEP, representatives at the event expressed that learning about the disease is just as important as trying to prevent and treat it.
“Because AIDS is an old word and HIV is an old world and this drug epidemic has sort of taken front-page news and stuff, it is very important to beat the pavement out here in everyday life on the streets, in a lot of the places that people go, to let them know that it is still an epidemic, but that there is help,” Ayers said.
Ayers added that it’s also important for organizations like ACR Health to promote itself and its message on social media so that they are reaching the widest audience possible.