The Los Angeles LGBT Center is using raw and real language in its latest safe-sex campaign: ‘F*ck w/out Fear, PrEP Here.’
The bold new campaign includes a billboard in the heart of West Hollywood to be unveiled on Sunday (8 January).
The aim is to raise awareness for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a safe and effective tool to prevent HIV infection.
PrEP involves taking a medicine once-daily that, if used correctly, has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 99%.
‘We’ve got the tools to not only end the fear of HIV, but to end it as an epidemic,’ says Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings.
‘Those at risk have to know about the tools, though, and they need honest information about them.’
Cummings says the new campaign provides the truth about PrEP, the information and support to help people get a prescription for it, and a reminder that condoms are necessary to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.’
Raising awareness is key because those most at risk for HIV – Latino and African-American youth – are the least likely to know about PrEP or to have the correct information about it.
Without immediate intervention, it is estimated that one in two gay or bisexual black men and one in four gay or bisexual Latino men will be infected with HIV in their lives, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘…If HIV uninfected people who are most at-risk of infection successfully protect themselves from the virus, we can effectively end HIV transmission here,’ says the Center’s Chief Medical Officer Robert Bolan M.D.
‘Because the availability of condoms alone hasn’t been enough to stop HIV, we’re excited about the promise of PrEP.’
The campaign is far more than a slogan. It also aims to combat misconceptions about the safety and effectiveness of PrEP and the belief that it’s unaffordable. PrEP is now covered by most insurance plans.
Nearly 40,000 people in the US were diagnosed with HIV in 2015 and one in eight people living with HIV don’t know it.