"GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 21, 2016) - National HIV Testing Day will be marked on Monday, June 27th, with testing events and a public awareness campaign throughout Guilford County and nationwide. As Triad Health Project (THP) commemorates 30 years of service to people affected by HIV/AIDS, that organization highlights great potential for positive change in the coming few years. Advances in treatment and major new developments in prevention, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, put the ability within our grasp to reduce the number of new HIV infections to zero.
“We have understood for some time now that effective treatment of people with HIV greatly reduces the spread of the disease,” says Ken Keeton, THP’s interim executive director, “but one of most exciting, and largely unsung new developments is the discovery that one drug, Truvada, which for years has successfully been used to treat HIV infection, is also highly effective in preventing infection in HIV-negative people who are exposed to the virus. This needs to be a major new tool in our prevention toolbox.”
Recent clinical trials of Truvada have showed as high as 85 to 100% effectiveness in preventing HIV infection when taken daily as PrEP. “PrEP is an exciting new development that can make a major contribution to stopping the spread of HIV,” says Dr. David Wohl of NC AIDS Training and Education Center (NC-ATEC) at UNC Chapel Hill, an organization working to promote PrEP use in NC. “However, we are finding it to be seriously under-utilized and under-prescribed in our state. We encourage people who are interested in using PrEP to protect themselves against HIV infection, to learn more about this breakthrough treatment. We will also provide training and support to physicians who want to start providing Truvada as PrEP to their patients.”
“Make no mistake, HIV continues to affect our community, with some communities, such as African-American men who have sex with men, bearing a disproportionate share of the burden, and we are committed to bringing all resources to bear to end this epidemic,” says Keeton. “We are working toward a greater coordination with the medical community to expand the availability or PrEP and HIV testing, while deepening our long-standing partnerships with the Guilford County Health Department, Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency, and the Nia Community Action Center to reach deeply into our communities to provide HIV testing and education. We feel that by doing all this as a committed, compassionate community, we really can get to zero new infections.”
THP will be offering free, confidential testing for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia on June 27th, from 1pm to 7pm at their offices at 801 Summit Ave. in Greensboro. They offer these free screenings weekly on Monday evenings from 5-7pm and Wednesday afternoons from 1-3pm.
For more information about PrEP, visit the North Carolina AIDS Training and Education Center website at http://www.med.unc.edu/ncaidstraining. For information about free HIV testing near you, go to www.hivtest.org or call Triad Health Project at 336-275-1654.
About Triad Health Project
Founded in 1986 by a group of friends who banded together in support of other friends who were newly diagnosed with HIV and lacking any system of support, Triad Health Project has evolved into Guilford County’s only HIV/AIDS service organization. Triad Health Project works to fulfill its mission of providing practical and emotional support to individuals infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and educates those at risk and the community at large about HIV/AIDS. THP currently provides direct care and support services to over 550 people in the community who are living with HIV/AIDS, and education and free and confidential testing for over 2,000 additional people every year."
- A Press Release