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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Planned Parenthood Doubles Down on HIV/AIDS Prevention on World AIDS Day
2018-11-30

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WASHINGTON, DC — Today, on the eve of the 30th annual World AIDS Day, Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, is doubling down on Planned Parenthood's commitment to HIV/AIDS testing and treatment. In the past year Planned Parenthood health centers have administered more than 740,000 HIV tests — a five percent increase in services from the previous year. In total, Planned Parenthood health centers have administered nearly 6.5 million HIV/AIDS tests in the past decade.

Planned Parenthood health centers also offer PrEP, a daily pill that can help reduce transmission for people who are at high risk for HIV, in more than 400 health centers in 44 states across the U.S.

Planned Parenthood Global trains peer educators in Africa and Latin America to share accurate information on HIV and sexual and reproductive health, and distribute condoms to help empower and educate young people in prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ) as well as unintended pregnancies. The Planned Parenthood Global Mobile program uses mobile technology to connect young people in Ecuador and Nigeria with health information and services, giving them the power to control their bodies and their lives. Last year, Planned Parenthood Global partners reached more than 1.3 million people with sexual and reproductive health services.

Planned Parenthood stands in solidarity with the millions of people living with and affected by HIV worldwide and the advocates who work diligently to ensure they have access to the care that they need. Planned Parenthood is proud to provide testing for HIV and other STIs in health centers around the country and support partners around the world who are on the frontlines of the global epidemic.

Statement of Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

"HIV/AIDS is an urgent human rights and public health crisis, impacting millions in the U.S. and around the world. While the U.S. has made progress toward greater health care equity, disparities in HIV rates remain a serious issue for too many people and communities. This is despite the fact that we know what works: access to the most effective tools in preventing HIV transmission, as well as combating stigma and policy barriers that restrict the ability of all people to access these life-saving services."

"As one of the nation's leading HIV testing providers, Planned Parenthood has provided nearly 6.5 million HIV tests over the past decade. Planned Parenthood health centers deliver HIV prevention services, such as PrEP ( pre-exposure prophylaxis ) and PEP ( post exposure prophylaxis ), testing, and education to disproportionately impacted communities, including people of color, transgender people, and young adults of all backgrounds. For over 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been fighting to ensure that all people — no matter who they are or where they live — can access accurate, nonjudgmental preventive care and education to help them stay healthy and reach their goals."

In one of the Trump-Pence administration's first acts, it reenacted the harmful global gag rule and radically expanded it for the first time, holding hostage global health assistance writ large — this includes support for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. In other words, to receive U.S. funding to fight HIV/AIDS globally, an international organization has to give up its right to advocate for — or provide — abortion counseling, referrals, or services. Earlier this year, the Trump-Pence administration proposed a similar domestic gag rule, which would make it illegal for health care providers across the country to tell patients how or where they can access safe, legal abortion. The impact of these gag rules are devastating not only for access to vital health services that keep people healthy and safe, but also prevent health care providers and patients from having open and honest conversations about their health care options and their rights.

The CDC estimates that about 1.1 million people would benefit from taking PrEP; yet only about 90,000 people were taking the medication in 2015, the last year examined. And while two-thirds of those who could benefit from PrEP are African American or Latino, they account for the smallest percentage of prescriptions. To help address these gaps, Planned Parenthood supports the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force ( USPSTF ) evidence-based recommendation that clinicians offer PrEP to patients at high risk of HIV. If adopted, it would make PrEP more affordable for people across the country. The public comment period on the recommendation is open through December 26.

Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest provider of reproductive health care and sex education. Every health center provides HIV testing. There are also numerous education and prevention services, including online tools, with information on HIV, a video series to help you start conversations about STIs, and The Check, a short quiz to help figure out if you should get tested for HIV and other STIs. To learn more or find a health center near you, visit PlannedParenthood.org .

Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.


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