Climbing Mountains: Thirty Years Later
It is 1988, HIV positive individuals are battling a chronic and fatal disease while combating stigmatization and apathetic governmental support. On December 1st, the first World AIDS Day births a sustained and synchronized effort between governments, researchers, local volunteers, activists, and nonprofit organization to change the narrative on HIV. At the time, we knew little about the virus; an epidemic infecting millions was sweeping the globe, and the first antiretroviral medication was only a year old. For the HIV community, dreaming of preventative prophylaxis and undetectable viral loads was like climbing a mountain without a rope.
Yet, the study of HIV has blossomed in ways once thought impossible. Thirty years later, this movement has resulted in enormous advancements in Antiretroviral Drug Therapy (ART) development, LGBTQ rights, and the HIV prevention techniques that have fostered PrEP and U=U. Though we still have prejudicial hills to climb and fundraising obstacles to conquer, here at AIDS Resource we strive each day to provide equitable prevention and treatment services. Celebrating our own thirty-year anniversary, AIDS Resource is proud to do our part in this fight. By offering ten counties access to our free PrEP clinic and educating our clients on the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) U=U announcement, we are leaping into the future of HIV prevention.
Put Some PrEP in Your Step
Want to lower your risk of contracting HIV by 92 percent? Then take control of your sexual health and start PrEP today! In 2012, pre-exposure prophylaxis, otherwise known as PrEP, was approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Association as a daily pill that has been revolutionary in the hindrance of HIV contraction. Efficient in both cost reduction and lowering HIV infection rates, PrEP has proven itself a successful prophylaxis during its short time on the market.
AIDS Resource and PrEP
If you have a substantial risk of HIV acquisition, please stop by our free monthly PrEP clinic. High-risk populations include; men who have sex with men, heterosexually active men and women with an HIV infected partner, transgender women and men, and people who inject drugs. AIDS Resource’s free, monthly PrEP clinic, located at 500 West Third Street, Williamsport, PA, has a nurse on staff to help you get started.
Thirty years of studying HIV has propelled scientific understanding of the virus beyond pharmaceutical advancements alone. It is now understood (and endorsed by the CDC) that HIV positive individuals should begin ART as soon as possible, as viral suppression can lead to undetectable viral loads. AIDS Resource supports the CDC’s declaration that people with undetectable viral loads have no effective risk of transferring HIV onto others. Our free STI testing and support of ART access are a part of our continued mission to help our clients maintain undetectable viral loads.
Walk With Us
Stop by our office to get started on PrEP, talk about U=U, or take advantage of our numerous testing, education, prevention, and care services. Through thirty years of proud aid, we have taken countless steps down the long and winding road of progress. Now, as we look out upon new horizons, we are ready to continue to walk with you.
This blog post was contributed by Matt Downing.