Preventing HIV With A Pill

The County is launching an HIV awareness program promoting a daily pill that can greatly reduce infection.

The Prep San Diego campaign will make use of billboards, bus  shelters and digital advertising over the next few months.

Officials want to encourage people at risk of contracting HIV to take the pill, Truvada, once a day.

This is for people engaged in high risk sex, including someone with a partner who is HIV postive, gay and bisexual men who aren't using condoms, and heterosexuals who could be with someone who uses intravenous drugs.

``Prep has the potential to significantly reduce new HIV  infections,'' said Patrick Loose, Chief of the HIV, Sexually transmitted disease, and Hepatitis branch of the County Health and Human Services Agency.

``It is not a  vaccine, but it can greatly reduce a person's chances of getting HIV if they  are exposed to it.''

Organizers of the campaign estimate around 18,700 people are living with HIV in San Diego County.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, daily use of prep reduces the risk of getting HIV via sex by more than 90 percent.  

The risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower when combined with condoms  and other prevention methods.  

The CDC says it reduces the risk among people who inject drugs by more than 70  percent.The pill can cause some nausea, but no major side effects have been  noted.

You can find out where to get the pill at PrepSanDiego.com

You can also find more at this CDC website

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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