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  • Pima County Health Department providing HIV PrEP services

    Apr 20, 2022 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Health Department is making Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services available in order to prevent the transmission of HIV in people who may be at risk of exposure through sexual activity or injection drug use.

    The Health Department is providing PrEP consultation, education and navigation, and will start clients on PrEP medication as well as provide referrals for follow-up and ongoing PrEP care.Exterior of Theresa Lee Clinic

    PrEP is a pill taken once daily to significantly reduce someone’s chances of getting HIV if they are HIV-negative.

    “We’re proud to be the first local health department in the state to launch this kind of PrEP program,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, the Pima County Health Department Director. “This furthers our goal of increasing prevention efforts in order to decrease new HIV infections in Pima County.”

    PrEP services are available at no cost (or on a sliding scale if without insurance) at these two Pima County clinics:
    • Theresa Lee Clinic, 1493 W. Commerce Court; 520-724-7900
    • North Clinic, 3550 N. 1st St.; 520-724-2880
    Both clinics operate Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but are closed noon to 1 p.m. each day. Calling to make an appointment is strongly encouraged to set up PrEP services.

    PrEP is safe and effective for reducing the risk of HIV infection if taken prior to exposure. PrEP offers peace of mind to people who are currently HIV-negative while ANY of the following apply:
    • Have had sex without a condom (vaginal or anal) in the past six months with someone who may be at risk for contracting HIV;
    • Have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load);
    • Have condomless anal sex, or have not consistently used condoms;
    • Have multiple sex partners, sex partners who may be at high risk for HIV, or transactional sex (such as sex for money, drugs or housing);
    • Have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past six months;
    • Inject drugs (especially those sharing needles) and/or use stimulants, such as methamphetamine, during sex.
    PrEP does not protect against other STIs. Only condoms protect against STIs such as syphilis and gonorrhea. PrEP is not a vaccine, nor a cure for HIV.

    The first step for someone who might be interested in taking PrEP medication is to get tested for HIV.

    Pima County Health Department clinics promote healthy sexual behaviors by providing comprehensive services to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. Services at the Theresa Lee and North clinics include diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing and counseling, partner identification and treatment, and community outreach and education.

    “If someone is engaging in sex and is looking to add an extra level of protection, PrEP, in addition to condoms, could be right for them,” said Michael Lopez, the Pima County Health Department’s HIV/STD Program Manager.

    “You can come into our clinics if you want to get tested and speak to a PrEP navigator before making a decision on whether to start medication.”