SAN FRANCISCO, June 26, 2015—San Francisco AIDS Foundation applauds Governor Jerry Brown and members of the California State Legislature for approving a state budget that includes key provisions ensuring Californians have access to essential HIV prevention, treatment and care services.
“California’s commitment to ending the spread of HIV and to helping those living with HIV to have long, healthy lives is real,” said Neil Giuliano, San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO. “ADAP, OA-HIPP, and syringe access are among the most vital and effective public programs that enable Californians to gain access to and afford medical treatment, stay in care, and protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis C infection. The newly-funded PrEP initiative will help prevent the spread of HIV and allow community-based organizations like San Francisco AIDS Foundation to reinvest limited resources in these types of evidence-based, high-impact prevention efforts, ensuring that California remains a leader in HIV prevention.”
The 2015-2016 budget contains provisions which:
“This historic funding is an important first step to ensure equitable access to this innovative HIV prevention tool statewide,” said Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, director of state & local affairs at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “We must also ensure that people know their options, have access to existing cost assistance programs, and insurance plans that make PrEP more affordable.”
San Francisco AIDS Foundation launched a PrEP Health Program in November 2014 through Magnet, its sexual health clinic in the Castro. Still in a pilot phase with limited enrollment, over 350 individuals from around the Bay Area access PrEP through the program, which employed San Francisco’s first PrEP benefits navigator to help participants gain access to health insurance and assistance programs. Since the beginning of the pilot program, no new HIV infections have been observed among program participants and adherence rates are high. In late summer 2015, the foundation plans to expand its program to be offered at its 1035 Market Street headquarters.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation has also run the educational website “Prepfacts.org” since 2012—the same year that the FDA approved the HIV medication Truvada for pre-exposure prophylactic use.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. More information about the foundation is available at www.sfaf.org.