Assemblymember Gloria Seeks to Eradicate HIV
Gloria Champions Resolution Declaring First “PrEP and PEP Awareness Day” in California to Increase Public Knowledge of Life-Saving Medications
SACRAMENTO, CA – California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) has set his sights on eradicating the spread of HIV/AIDS by working to increase public awareness of PrEP and PEP – two medications proven to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by more than 90 percent. In an effort to encourage more Californians to seek out these HIV prevention strategies, the California State Assembly today approved Assemblymember Gloria’s Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 258 officially declaring August 16, 2018 as “PrEP and PEP Awareness Day” in California.
“With our advances in modern medicine, HIV is no longer a death sentence. We have safe and effective medications like PrEP and PEP that can not only treat HIV, but also reduce the risk of ever acquiring HIV. The challenge is to get people to seek out these medications,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “It is my hope that ACR 258 will help inform Californians that PrEP and PEP are accessible and available strategies for HIV prevention. We can end this disease, and PreP and PEP are crucial in doing so.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 220,000 Californians are at high-risk for exposure to HIV. Approximately 139,000 Californians currently live with HIV. California has the largest number of new HIV diagnoses in the nation – particularly within the counties of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP, is an antiretroviral medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 that has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of transmitting HIV. By taking PrEP once a day, exposure to HIV is reduced by approximately 90 percent. Post-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PEP, is also an FDA approved medication for individuals who may have been exposed to HIV. PEP can be taken within 72 hours of potential exposure and dramatically reduces the risk of acquiring HIV. Only 12 percent of Californians though have actually started a PrEP regimen.
"PrEP and PEP are critical tools in our fight to get to zero — zero HIV transmission, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero stigma against people living with HIV," said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. "We can get there, and together with leaders like Assemblymember Gloria and members of the Legislative LGBT Caucus, we're committed to increasing awareness and uptake of both PrEP and PEP."
More information about PrEP and PEP, including fact sheets from the CDC, can be found here on Assemblymember Gloria’s website. In addition, Assemblymember Gloria has recorded a short informational video highlighting ACR 258, PrEP, and PEP. The video can be accessed here.
ACR 258 marks the first time a “PrEP and PEP Awareness Day” has been established in California. The resolution is principally co-authored Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) and by every member of the California LGBT Legislative Caucus.