Washington, D.C. — On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Black AIDS institute and Planned Parenthood Federation of America launched new educational videos on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), two HIV prevention medications. Despite the life-saving advances in HIV treatment and prevention, racism and other systemic barriers can block people from affordable, quality health care, including today’s most effective tools in preventing HIV transmission. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black people account for four in 10 Americans living with HIV and nearly half of all new HIV infections.
Last year, PPFA awarded 11 Planned Parenthood affiliates grants through its HIV Prevention Initiative (HPI), a multi-phase pilot program to build and expand comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts, including the integration of PrEP services. This work is being carried out in partnership 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.
“Education about HIV prevention tools like PrEP and PEP is critical as we work to serve communities disproportionately affected by HIV, including Black women, men of color who have sex with men, Latinas, transgender people, and young people of all backgrounds,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of Maryland. “Planned Parenthood is committed to increasing access to HIV prevention, education, testing, and treatment, as well as addressing HIV stigma and centering the critical work of community leaders who are bringing us closer to the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
- PrEP, which is best used in conjunction with condoms and other HIV prevention tools, is a daily pill for people who are at higher risk for getting HIV. If you don’t have HIV, taking PrEP every day can lower your chances of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent. PrEP can also decrease chances of getting HIV from sharing needles by more than 70 percent.
- PEP is a series of pills that, if taken within 72 hours of being exposed to HIV, can lower your chances of getting it. PEP is for emergencies and is not intended to take the place of proven, ongoing ways to prevent HIV — like using condoms, taking PrEP, and not sharing needles or works (cotton, cookers, spoons, etc.).
Each year, Planned Parenthood health centers provide more than 4.4 million STI testing and treatment services, including more than 705,000 HIV tests. As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood provides education and outreach to 1.5 million people each year, and Planned Parenthood websites in English and Spanish provide accurate, nonjudgmental information about sexual and reproductive health to more than 73 million online visitors each year. Planned Parenthood works every day to reduce STI rates and help keep people safe and healthy. For more information, visit plannedparenthood.org.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.