PGN Special Edition Coverage

 

Ah, January — the time when we contemplate resolutions to change, improve and make a difference. Maybe we pledge to start eating better or exercising more, to cut back on caffeine or save more money, to spend more time volunteering for a worthy cause.

OK, so you made that New Year’s resolution to eat healthier knowing good and well that you are either too busy, not industrious enough or too in-the-moment to prep and map out every meal on a schedule. Face it. You like to eat out every now and then … maybe even more than that. And that can play hell on your dietary plans.

I am an HIV-positive gay man with a manageable illness. A year ago at an AIDS Law Project fundraiser, I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Luis Montaner, a leading HIV scientist at The Wistar Institute. Through Dr. Montaner, I learned about BEAT-HIV (beat-hiv.org), and an important new study looking for clinical study participants — an interesting possibility I had not considered before.

Over the course of the past three-and-a-half decades, we have seen dramatic changes in the AIDS epidemic. For many individuals, advances in treatment and care have made HIV a manageable chronic condition. Unfortunately, though, for too many people living with HIV, poverty or a financial crisis can make obtaining care and maintaining their health almost impossible.

Philadelphia FIGHT has been on the forefront of prescribing Truvada® for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) since FDA approval in 2012. The Y-HEP Health Center on Locust Street started Monday PrEP nights with the support of Dr. Helen Koenig (medical director of PrEP programs across Philadelphia FIGHT), and kept the clinic open until 9 p.m. so Philly’s youth could drop in and see a health-care provider.

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