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NEW YORK, NY — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced the second phase of its HIV Prevention Initiative. With the support of a grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc., a research-based biopharmaceutical company, Planned Parenthood will further support and expand HIV prevention efforts across the country, including further integration of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness and education. PrEP is a daily pill that can help people who are at high risk for HIV reduce the risk of transmission.

We are thrilled to expand our HIV Prevention Initiative to reach more people with the information and care they need to stay healthy,” said Julia Bennett, director of learning strategy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “This grant will allow us to better understand and address the barriers that exist for many populations when it comes to accessing HIV prevention services and education. As one of the nation’s leading HIV testing providers, Planned Parenthood is committed to providing all people, especially those facing barriers to accessing quality health care, with comprehensive and cutting-edge HIV prevention, education, testing, and links to care.

In 2017, with its first grant from Gilead, PPFA launched its HIV Prevention Initiative (HPI), a multi-phase pilot program aimed at building and expanding the comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts of 11 affiliates. HPI was 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. The HPI has allowed Planned Parenthood to reach more people who are at higher risk and train health center staff to better educate patients with the information and resources they need to prevent HIV transmission.

The second phase of HPI will launch a new research project that will inform a patient and community education campaign over the next two years. The campaign will build awareness of HIV prevention and testing and train more Planned Parenthood staff to reach communities with the greatest need, including Black women, transgender women of color, and Spanish-speaking women of color, whose experiences with stigma and discrimination affect their access to health care and the quality of health care they receive, as well as increase their risk of HIV. Stigma and discrimination are among the foremost barriers to HIV prevention, treatment, and support.

Comprehensive HIV prevention programs and innovative prevention strategies are essential to reducing the HIV epidemic among the most vulnerable populations, including those with limited means to access quality health care,” said Amy Flood, senior vice president of public affairs for Gilead Sciences, Inc. “This initiative, along with our continued partnership with Planned Parenthood, aims to have a long-term impact on public health with the ability to continue the reduction of new HIV infections nationwide.

Despite the life-saving advances in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for treatment and prevention, HIV remains an urgent public health crisis, especially for specific marginalized communities who face barriers to affordable, quality health care. In the United States, an estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV, and one in seven don't know they have it. According to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveillance report, women of color are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for the majority of HIV infections, women living with HIV, and HIV-related deaths among women in the U.S.

Planned Parenthood is uniquely situated to meet the needs of populations disproportionately at risk for negative health outcomes, including HIV. More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural areas, or medically underserved areas. Additionally, 30 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 45 live within five miles of a Planned Parenthood health center that offers HIV testing, and more than 400 health centers nationwide have implemented comprehensive HIV prevention programs and services including the provision of PrEP.

Planned Parenthood health centers provided more than 4.4 million tests for sexually transmitted infections and over 700,000 HIV tests last year alone. We’re also the nation’s largest provider of sex education and offer local programs that address HIV education and prevention as well as online tools, including information on HIV, a video series to help you have conversations about STDs, and The Check, a short quiz to help you figure out if you should get tested for HIV and other STDs. To learn more or find a health center near you, visit PlannedParenthood.org.

 

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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.