Published : Friday, March 9, 2018 | 6:21 AM
Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley will announce on Saturday that its facilities will be offering a new drug that HIV-negative people can take daily to help prevent HIV infection before exposure to the virus.
March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV AIDS Awareness Day.
As part of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s HIV Prevention Initiative, Planned Parenthood Pasadena said its health centers now offer Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (also known as PrEP), a daily pill that helps prevent HIV.
“Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley is proud to be a leader in HIV prevention efforts that help reduce the risk of HIV infection among women and girls. This year, we are especially proud of our efforts to expand our services to include Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (also known as PrEP), a daily pill that helps prevent HIV,” said Sheri Bonner, President and CEO of PPPSGV.
Bonner said her organization wants to “shine a light on PrEP for women because Latinas and Black women are disproportionately affected by HIV. And women need to know that PrEP is a safe and effective option, especially for many women who may not be able to negotiate condom use.”
The PPPSGV centers also offer PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis), a series of pills anyone who suspects to have been exposed to HIV can start taking very soon after exposure, to lower the chances of getting the virus, the organization said.
PPPSGV was one of 11 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country that were awarded $50,000 grants through the Planned Parenthood Federation’s HIV Prevention Initiative, an 18-month program made possible because of a $900,000 block grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc., a research-based biopharmaceutical company.
Gilead Sciences’ pass-through funding for the 11 Planned Parenthood awardees is the first significant corporate grant of its kind awarded to Planned Parenthood and will focus critical prevention efforts in communities hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including Northeast Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, PPPSGV said.
The PPFA HIV Prevention Initiative will work with The Black AIDS Institute, a national organization working to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic in black communities by engaging and mobilizing black institutions and individuals.
This year marks the 13th annual observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10, which sheds light on the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls.
PPPSGV said although there has been progress against HIV and AIDS in the U.S., women remain vulnerable to infection – especially black and Latina women.
“Any woman who has sex can get HIV, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation. Currently, there are 1.1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV, and nearly a quarter of them (23 percent) are women,” the organization said.
PPPSGV health centers are located in Pasadena, Alhambra, Eagle Rock and Glendora. Appointments can be made by calling (626) 798-0706 or online through www.plannedparenthood.org/PPpsgv.