Others in the HIV prevention field agreed that if you can get past the logistical obstacles, the ER offers a great opportunity to start people on PrEP.
“I think you capture a population that may not be accessing medical care elsewhere that may be using emergency rooms as their primary-care providers” said Erika Aaron, the PrEP clinical adviser for Philadelphia’s Aids Activities Coordinating Office.
By Nina Feldman
While overdose deaths declined last year in Philadelphia, HIV infections increased. Last week, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health released data that show an increase in new HIV infection since 2016 after a decade of decline. The increase has been attributed to infections among people who inject drugs — 59 of whom were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018, double the number of people who were diagnosed in 2016. Bucks County has been experiencing a similar increase.
By Inquirer Editorial Board
Thomas Farley, commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, said the increase “is something that definitely has us concerned.”
The overall number of new HIV cases has been on a steady decline since the mid-2000s. Currently, 19,199 Philadelphians are living with HIV. In 2017 there were 419 newly diagnosed HIV infections, according to the health department.
But from 2016 to 2018, the number of new diagnoses reported in people who inject drugs has nearly doubled to 59, a number that is sure to rise when all the data are finalized, said James Garrow, spokesperson for the Department of Public Health.
By Mari Schaefer
To address that, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health recently launched a “Philly, Keep on Loving” campaign promoting awareness of PrEP.
“Even though PrEP may not be right for all Philadelphians, it’s important to consider it a part of sexual-health planning, along with condoms and birth control,” said Caitlin Conyngham, HIV prevention coordinator with the Department of Public Health.
By Trenae Nuri
And the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health recently launched a new sexual health marketing campaign to promote the HIV prevention pill called “Philly, Keep On Loving.”
“With an HIV rate four times the national rate, increasing the use of PrEP is necessary to end the HIV epidemic in Philadelphia,” stated Dr. Kathleen Brady, medical director and medical epidemiologist for the Department’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) in a news release.
By Ayana Jones
But Tom Farley, Philadelphia’s public health commissioner, isn’t impressed.
“We’re glad that the administration is talking about eliminating HIV infection,” Farley said. “That’s certainly important. Our question is, really, what’s new about this plan? And that’s not clear.”
By Dana Bate
Health experts say HIV is no longer a death sentence but it is a crisis in Philadelphia. Now they’re calling on people to act to help end the epidemic.
By Stephania Jimenez