NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem has launched a month-long social media campaign on Grindr, Instagram, and Facebook to raise awareness among the Harlem community about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and direct more New Yorkers to take advantage of the comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs available at the hospital. PrEP is an HIV prevention method in which people who do not have HIV take a daily pill (HIV antiretroviral medication) to reduce their risk of becoming infected.
The $20,000 social media campaign uses the tag line “Love Without Fear” and targets Blacks and Latinos who self-identify as men who have sex with men or women who may have an HIV-positive partner, as well as other New Yorkers at risk for contracting HIV. The $20,000 in campaign funding is part of a $200,000 per annum five-year grant NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem has received from the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute to support the operation and administration of the hospital’s PrEP Program. The grant funding is part the State’s commitment to end AIDS as an epidemic by 2020.
“As a life-long resident of the Village of Harlem, I have watched the impact of the AIDS epidemic on this community and on families. I have seen many people lose their lives. Today, I am proud to lead a community hospital that offers patients state-of-the-art therapies in a dignified, discreet, and respectful manner,” said Eboné M. Carrington, chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem. “PrEP will allow people in this community to live longer and to love without fear.”
The need for enhanced awareness was underscored in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s May 2018 Vital Signs report: “HIV infection continues to disproportionately affect gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. In New York City, almost three-quarters of new HIV diagnoses among men are among MSM. Black men are disproportionately affected by HIV. Among males ages 13 to 59, the diagnosis rate among Black males was 1.6 times higher than among Latino males and more than three times higher than among White males.”
“We have made tremendous gains in treating HIV, as well as in preventing new HIV infections with the effective use of PrEP,” said Dr. Sharon Mannheimer, director of Infectious Diseases at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem. “It is our sincere desire that this campaign will inspire people in our community to get on PrEP—one pill a day could save your life.”
FDA approved, PrEP is a safe and effective daily pill that is widely recognized as an effective tool to prevent HIV infection. Men or women can take PrEP to prevent HIV and stay healthy, and it is much more effective at stopping HIV if taken every day. PrEP can also protect women who are trying to conceive a child with an HIV-positive partner. PrEP is safe for the mother and child both during and after pregnancy and has not been shown to affect fertility.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem has provided PrEP services to New York City’s LGBTQ community since 2016. To date, the hospital has served 163 PrEP clients under its Adult PrEP Programs. On average NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem virology department schedules more than 20 PrEP clinical visits monthly. NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem’s PrEP Program also provides other supportive services, including medical insurance navigation. Currently NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem has 113 active PrEP recipients.
PrEP is covered by Medicaid and most health insurance plans. If people are uninsured or underinsured, they may be eligible for a patient assistance program that helps pay for PrEP. Hospital staff are available to help. Immigration status does not affect the ability to get PrEP and get other HIV prevention and HIV care.
You should consider taking PrEP if you:
Do not always use condoms during sex
Recently had a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
Have more than one sexual partner
Have a partner who has sex with other partners
Have a partner who has HIV and a detectable or unknown viral load
Are trying to conceive with a partner who has HIV
Have a partner who refuses to get an HIV test
Inject drugs or have a partner who injects drugs
PrEP for Women:
PrEP is an effective HIV prevention option for women when taken daily.
PrEP can protect women who are trying to conceive a child with an HIV-positive partner.
PrEP is safe for the mother and child both during and after pregnancy, and has not been shown to affect fertility.
PrEP is covered by Medicaid and most health insurance plans:
If you do not have insurance or have a high co-pay, you may be eligible for a patient assistance program that helps pay for PrEP.
Immigration status does not affect your ability to get PrEP and get other HIV prevention and HIV care.
For more information about the HIV/PrEP clinic or to make an appointment, call 212-939-3715 or 212-939-3701. Walk-ins are welcome at the NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem Prep Program located at 15 West 136 Street, Kountz Pavilion, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10037, Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
Contact:Philip Cooke, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, 212-939-1372
About NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem is a 282-bed hospital that provides a broad array of preventive, primary, and acute care services, including general medicine and medical subspecialties, general surgery and surgical subspecialties, infectious diseases, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and neonatology, burn and critical care, radiology imaging and nuclear medicine, rehabilitation medicine and physical, speech, and occupational therapies, psychiatry and substance abuse services, dental and oral surgery, and emergency adult and pediatric services. The hospital serves as a Burn Center and Level I Trauma Center, with Centers of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery, Breast Imaging and Sexual Assault Forensics, and a designated Stroke and AIDS Center, as well as being a World Health Organization-Designated Baby Friendly Hospital. NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem is among 11 public hospitals serving New York City as part of its public health system, NYC Health + Hospitals. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/harlem or call (212) 939-1000.
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.