In a recent New York Times article, the city of San Francisco's collective response to the HIV epidemic is touted as a model of outstanding HIV treatment and prevention.
The article highlights the fact that San Francisco is quick to adopt effective, innovative programs ahead of the curve. For instance the city-wide initiative RAPID, which insures that newly-diagnosed people with HIV are provided with same-day HIV treatment and linkage to care, started well before the DHHS guidelines recommended immediate antiretroviral therapy to not only improve health and quality of life but also as an effective treatment as prevention strategy.
More recently, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programs offering people at risk of HIV a once-daily medication to significantly lower risk are gaining traction in the community. Working against backlash that PrEP will decrease condom use and increase risky sex, San Francisco PrEP providers offer a realistic, non-judgmental view of how PrEP can benefit individuals at risk.
"Denying PrEP to patients because they might have unsafe sex makes about as much sense as our colleagues who treat high cholesterol denying statins to theirs because they might eat more ice cream," Susan Buchbinder, M.D., of the San Francisco Department of Public Health is quoted as saying.
Pierre-Cédric Crouch, Ph.D., A.N.P., the director of nursing at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation sexual health clinic Magnet, said in the article, "You can come in saying you just slept with 20 guys and don't know what a condom is, and we don't criticize you. We help you out."
This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of BETAblog.org. Read the full article.