Addressing HIV in Alabama

AlabamaPost submitted by HRC Field Organizer Tori Sisson

This month, HRC Alabama's Field Organizer Tori Sisson participated in both the Montgomery AIDS Outreach TreadRED AIDS Walk/Run and the Magic City AIDS Walk/Run.  

According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control, Birmingham ranks 17 of all major metropolitan areas with a high rate of HIV infection per 100,000 people.  According to a 2014 HRC survey, reducing the stigma of HIV/AIDS is a top priority for LGBT people in Alabama. We are enthused to participate in the push to educate the various communities. It's important to not merely focus on the issue, but to provide visibility to its victims and allow an honest and open dialogue to reduce stigma and stereotypes.  

In efforts to confront the especially high rates of transmission among young gay and bisexual men of color and transgender women, HRC, in partnership with the Greater Than AIDS campaign, produced an information guide to engage the LGBT community about prevention.  Some of the resources in the guide include information on the use of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).  PrEP involves taking a once-daily pill to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV.  It is an FDA-approved prescription medication sold under the brand name Truvada.  Many private insurance companies and Medicaid cover PrEP. 

By participating in awareness activities such as AIDS walks HRC is visibly working towards ending the progression of HIV to AIDS. 

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