National Women And Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Saturday is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
It promotes safe sex and ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
WCBS Newsradio 880 Preducer Neil A. Carousso spoke with Stephane Howze, senior vice president of New York City-based healthcare nonprofit Amida Care, which specializes in HIV treatment for people in under-served communities.
She says with new treatments available, such as PrEP, education is key to prevent the spread of the sexually transmitted disease.
She stresses pre-exposure prophylaxis, daily medication to prevent HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout one’s body, would lead to the reduction of new HIV cases.
“If we’re able to do more education in those communities about the use of PrEP and normalize it, that you can take control of your sexual health by using PrEP or learning about PrEP or having your provider educated about PrEP that they can speak to you about it,” Howze said. “I think that’s one way that we would be able to help with the reduction of new HIV cases.”
“We can be engaging as health care providers, we can be open and thoughtful as insurers, and make sure that we are able to provide a network of providers that are sensitive and competent in serving their needs,” Howze added.
Howze also said doctors should offer HIV tests to their patients.
“You go to your primary care provider you should be getting offered an HIV test,” Howze said. “If we start there with knowing your status and then using some of these more high-tech solutions I think we’ll be able to put a real dent in new infections.”
Four years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his goal to reduce the number of infections in New York State to 750 from an estimated 3,000 by 2020.
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