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San Francisco’s top HIV Doc aids Fulton County, Ga., in launching PrEP Clinic—provided training

SAN-FRANCISO-TOPSan Francisco’s top HIV Doc aids Fulton County, Ga., in launching PrEP Clinic—provided training

Leisha McKinley-Beach, David Holland and John Eaves at the opening of the new Fulton County PrEP Clinic.

      Flanked by veteran California warriors in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves and the leadership of the County’s Health Services Department announced new elements in the battle against the disease. Dr. David Holland, chief clinical officer of the Communicable Disease Division, announced the expansion in the recently opened PrEP Clinic.

PrEP, the acronym for pre-exposure-prophylaxis, is a regimen or strategy that includes taking one pill a day to keep from getting HIV. It is highly effective when taken properly—people who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every three months. PrEP is strongly recommended for people in high risk groups—men who have sex with men, women whose partners may have bisexual sex and persons with multiple sex partners. The really good news—manufacturer Gilead Sciences is making PrEP avail-able at NO COST to those who need it but are unable to pay.

Georgia ranks second and Atlanta fifth in the rate of new HIV diagnoses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Particularly troublesome, noted Chairman Eaves is the fact that the highest rate of new infections is among the African-American males who have sex with males (MSM) in the 13-24 age group. Eaves told the audience of some 50 stakeholders to urge political leaders and school officials to get the word out about PrEP. San Francisco General Hospital HIV specialist Dr. Oliver Bacon said he often sees patients who test positive, but who would not have contracted the virus had they known about and used PrEP.

Next to trying to prevent HIV with PrEP comes treatment for persons who do test positive. Rapid Entry is the strategy to get anyone who tests positive into treatment within 72 hours.

Opt-out is making sure everyone who comes to a Fulton Health Center for any service is offered an HIV test. The client doesn’t have to take one, but is made aware testing is available. Persons interested in learning more about prevention regimens or HIV treatment can call or visit the PrEP Clinic, Aldredge Health Center, 99 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303 – (404) 613-4708

Fulton County is an equal

opportunity employer encouraging diversity. If you need reason-able modifications due to a dis-ability, including communications in an alternate format, please contact (404) 613-1204. For TDD/TYY or Georgia Relay Service Access, dial 711.

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