LOS ANGELES--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation:
“It is difficult to adhere to any daily drug therapy regimen – even people living with HIV can have difficulty with remembering to take medication for their manageable condition”
Impulse presents “Keep Calm and PrEP Talk”:
|Noon – 1:15 pm: Guest arrival & reception|
|1:15 – 1:30 pm: Opening comments (Jose Ramos and Michael Weinstein)|
1:30 – 1:45 pm: Screening of “Knowing” by Impulse and the Advisorie
|1:45 – 2:00 pm: Break|
|2:00 – 3:00 pm: Panel Discussion|
|3:00 – 4:00 pm: Open Floor Discussion and Closing reception|
SATURDAY, November 9th 12 pm – 4 pm
|8162 Melrose Ave.|
|Los Angeles, CA 90046|
● Michael Weinstein
|President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation|
● David Hardy, MD
|Director of Infectious Diseases, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center|
● Michael Wohlfeiler, MD
|Chief of Medicine, AIDS Healthcare Foundation|
● Aaron Laxton
|B-Roll:||Unscripted panel discussion with an expected attendance of 150-200 members of the general public, who will have the opportunity to openly pose questions to the panel|
Jose Ramos, mobile +1.323.236.0049 email@example.com
Kyveli Diener, +1.323.960.4846 or mobile +1.310.779.4796 firstname.lastname@example.org
This weekend, Impulse Group – the West Hollywood branch of an international coalition of advocates that offers sexual health education alongside access to condoms and HIV testing – will be hosting “Keep Calm and PrEP Talk” on November 9 from 12 pm – 4 pm at the Hollywood Improv on Melrose Avenue. Prior to a panel discussion on the medication, a short educational film by Impulse in conjunction with The Advisorie called “Knowing” will be screened.
The event will feature a diverse panel that includes medical experts David Hardy, MD of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Michael Wohlfeiler, MD of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) alongside HIV activist and social commentator Aaron Laxton, who blogs for TheBody.com, and Michael Weinstein, president and founder of the global nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which provides treatment, testing, and advocacy in 32 countries worldwide in addition to being the largest provider of HIV/AIDS care in the United States.
Over 150 people are expected to fill the venue for the conversation, and they will have the opportunity to submit questions – anonymously, if preferred – to the panel and participate in open discussion regarding the controversial pill regimen known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (or, more commonly, PrEP). The medication’s active ingredient, Truvada, is a successful drug treatment for people with HIV or AIDS. PrEP was originally developed to offer sero-discordant couples – two people of different HIV statuses who are in a relationship – additional protection against transmission of the virus.
However, in the past year many have increasingly suggested that any sexually active individual should take PrEP as a preventative treatment – with some even going so far as to suggest the medication as a replacement for condom use. One opinion piece published in the New York Times in June even referred to the medication as the “HIV Morning After Pill.”
“While AHF does not discourage any doctor – even AHF doctors – from prescribing PReP to patients who may ask for it, we have grave concerns regarding the efficacy of the drug,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Outside of sero-discordant relationships, we feel that a chemical response that alters a healthy person’s state of wellness should not be the first line of defense against HIV. For casual sexual encounters, we support the effective and non-invasive protection offered by condoms, which also defend against STDs like Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis where PrEP does not.”
In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Truvada as PrEP, but only if used continuously on a daily basis in conjunction with non-prescription safer sex practices like condom use, regular HIV testing, and open dialogue between partners. Disruption in a daily Truvada as PrEP regimen could cause serious liver damage, the FDA approval warned, and there is a chance that consistently taking the drug as prevention could reduce its effectiveness as a treatment in the event of HIV infection.
“It is difficult to adhere to any daily drug therapy regimen – even people living with HIV can have difficulty with remembering to take medication for their manageable condition,” said Impulse Founder and President Jose Ramos. “What motivation would someone who is relatively healthy, with no HIV-related symptoms, have to remember to take a pill every day? This is just one of the many questions we hear in the community, and we look forward to offering this opportunity for everyone to be able to pose questions directly to medical professional and gain some enlightenment on this developing medical option.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to over 250,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare