CATEGORY: Spotlight

New strategies aim to keep high-risk youth free of HIV infection

UC’s California HIV/AIDS Research Program funds three projects to help curb HIV.

Studies funded by UC’s California HIV/AIDS Research Program hope to curb HIV in the state by engaging people at high risk in innovative prevention efforts in their communities.

Last year, Grant Lindsey visited Oakland’s Downtown Youth Clinic for the first time, accompanying his partner who was being treated there for HIV. Lindsey is not HIV-positive, but this was a new relationship, and he was there to offer help and encouragement.

“I really wanted to support my partner, and I wanted to get educated for myself,” he said. “I wanted to get up to date as far as HIV and safe sex were concerned.”

While at the clinic, Lindsey was tested for HIV. He also talked with the clinic director and medical staff about his new relationship, and he got answers to questions that had been worrying him.

Soon, he was volunteering for a new study to test an HIV prevention pill (Truvada), which has been found to protect uninfected persons against the virus. This prevention pill is part of a new strategy called PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) that includes taking the daily antiretroviral medication, Truvada, which was approved last year by the FDA. Truvada is provided for the study by its maker, Gilead Sciences, Inc.

This bold research, which is funded by UC’s California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP), engages people at high risk for HIV infection in an innovative new biomedical prevention effort in their communities. The study in Oakland and other East Bay cities is one of three PrEP research projects funded by CHRP to help curb HIV in California. The combined effort is the largest PrEP demonstration project in the U.S. (See “Combining a prevention pill with community treatment programs“)

“I didn’t know anything about this,” said Lindsey. “It’s amazing. HIV is still rampant, and not enough people are talking about it.”

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Related link:
UCTV: HIV: Past present and future — Mini Medical School for the public presented by UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

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