In July of 2012 the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the medication tenofovir, a drug in Truvada, as a once-a-day HIV preventative treatment regimen for HIV negative men who have sex with men, HIV negative partners in serodiscordant couples, and other individuals at risk for acquiring HIV. The drug tenofovir works by blocking an enzyme called HIV reverse transcriptase. By blocking this enzyme, it prevents HIV from making more copies of itself in the body.
According to a San Francisco Health Department fact sheet
, the PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
) treatment works to reduce the risk of HIV infections by up to 90 percent when taken consistently, and medication is available through many private health plans and through Medi-Cal.
For the past several years, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health have been actively
pursuing people who are interested in using PrEP as an extra step in protecting themselves from HIV and providing resources and information regarding how to sign up.
This Sunday, January 11th
, the SFAF will be hosting
one of their biggest outreach events yet at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center at 100 Collingwood St. starting at 1pm. Current PrEP takers will be sharing their personal experiences about using PrEP and how they signed up. Later, people will break off into small groups to talk about PrEP and ask questions about the treatment. Counselors will go over public and private programs that can help pay for the medication.
Representatives from health insurance plans available under Covered California, the state's healthcare exchange under the Affordable Care Act, will also be available to discuss coverage options. There will also be signups for insurance with Covered California whose signup deadline has been extended until February 15th.
If you're interested in learning more about PrEP treatment options to reduce the risk of HIV infection, you might well consider checking out this information session on Sunday afternoon.