SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – Lifelong presents Sexual Health Month and new advances to HIV prevention! The FDA recently approved PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), which is a single pill someone would take every day to reduce the chances of getting HIV if they are currently HIV-negative, for adolescents ages 15 to 17 and weighing at least 77 lbs.
Lifelong’s PrEP program works in a three step process: educate people about PrEP, help them navigate through their healthcare and benefits, and then connect them to PrEP providers. “In the State of Washington, there is no reason for anyone to not utilize PrEP because of finances – we can literally get PrEP to people for free,” Tony Koester, Lifelong’s Prevention Program Manager, explains. Lifelong is one of nine Department of Health funded organizations that provide PrEP navigation.
This Sexual Health Month, Lifelong wants to promote their PrEP program because it is one of the most effective prevention methods in protecting people against HIV and it is part of Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation to end AIDS in Washington.
Lifelong’s Seattle AIDS Walk & Picnic on September 29th, also celebrates Sexual Health Month, as the event has raised over $10 million since it was founded in 1986, and the funds go toward providing vital services for people that are affected by HIV. This event serves to honor the ones lost to the disease, and celebrate how far we’ve come, while also advocating for the important work that still needs to be done.
Seattle AIDS Walk & Picnic
Venue: Volunteer Park
Time: 9:30am – 1:30pm
More information & registration: sea-aidswalk.org
About Lifelong: Lifelong is a community health organization committed to empowering people living with or at risk of HIV and/or other chronic conditions to lead healthier lives. Lifelong has always been an organization that stands up for communities facing discrimination and marginalization.
More on PrEP:
What is PrEP?
- PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis.
- PrEP is a single pill you take every day that reduces your chances of getting HIV if you are HIV-negative. It’s like taking a daily pill for blood pressure or birth control.
- PrEP is not a vaccine or a cure for HIV.
- PrEP will not treat HIV.
- PrEP does not prevent nor treat any other STI’s.
- Condoms are still important to prevent STIs.
- You can get help paying for PrEP.
Is PrEP right for me?
Only a medical provider can help you answer that question for sure, but PrEP may be a good option if you want an effective way to prevent HIV transmission.
PrEP may be right for you if you are HIV Negative and …
- Have one or more HIV+ sexual or injection partners
- Use condoms sometimes, rarely, or never
- Have sex with partners who do not know their HIV status
- Participate in sex work
PrEP may be right for people of various gender identities and sexual orientations who …
- Have a recent STI diagnosis
- Have a history of inconsistent/no condom use with a partner known to be at substantial risk for HIV (i.e. a man who has sex with other men or a person who injects drugs)
PrEP may be right for those who inject drugs if you:
- Have one or more HIV+ injecting partners
- Share injection equipment (needles and works)
Can I afford PrEP?
Yes! Health insurance, including Medicaid, covers PrEP. The State of Washington provides financial assistance to insured, under insured or uninsured individuals. In addition, The makers of PrEP (TRUVADA) also provide co-pay assistance and/or full medication coverage to those who qualify. This means we can help you get PrEP at little or no cost to you!
How do I get on PrEP?
Lifelong provides PrEP Navigation Services for you at no cost!
Our PrEP Navigators will work with you to schedule your initial screening appointment. During this appointment we will help you find the financial assistance that works for you, a PrEP Provider if you need one, and will assist with reducing any other barriers to PrEP access you may have.
If you are interested in getting on PrEP and wish to speak to a PrEP Navigator please call 206-957-1665 or contact us using the form below.
Being on PrEP doesn’t just mean taking a pill. PrEP is part of a prevention program involving taking medication every day and being screened for HIV and other STIs regularly.