The local government in the American capital city of Washington D.C. is currently engaged in an ambitious campaign, which seeks to provide The District’s black women with HIV prevention medicine.
According to a D.C.-based digital news source called the Washington Blade, The District’s public health department is supplying black women with a drug called PrEP. This drug comes in the form of pills, which are recommended to be taken daily to change how the body biologically reacts to HIV exposure.
PrEP is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis. The drug first became available in 2012 and was originally marketed to gay men who engage in a high-risk lifestyle that increases their propensity for HIV infection. Gay men are a demographic that is still one of the groups near the top of the list of those infected with and at risk for HIV.
The Blade reported that one in six of all of those who have recently been diagnosed with HIV in the nation’s capital are black women. The number of new HIV cases in The District is smaller today than it has been in number of years. However, almost two percent of D.C.’s residents are living with HIV.
Also, The District’s two percent of the total population living with HIV statistic is one of the largest among all the major U.S. cities in America. The city of D.C.’s local government has put ads on the sides of local metro buses, which feature images of black women with a tagline written that reads: “Dominate your $ex life.”
There are also vans that trek across the nation’s capital, which provide people with mobile HIV testing courtesy of the local government’s health department. The vans also contain pamphlets that have a list of doctors in the city who prescribe PrEP.
Though PrEP affects how the body deals its HIV exposure, it does not cure the virus. HIV causes full-blown AIDS, a disease that is still deadly. The best ways to avoid HIV infection are abstinence and intimacy with one partner who is faithful and HIV negative.