HIV Is Spreading in Florida — and Here’s What the State Is Doing About It
We often make New Year’s resolutions to improve health, but sometimes the mission is much larger than shedding a few pounds.
Case in point: The Florida Department of Health has a goal to combat the spread of HIV in the state by providing better access to medication that can reduce the risk of individuals contracting the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida had the second-highest number of reported HIV diagnoses in 2016.
Last month, Florida health officials announced plans to make PrEP — or pre-exposure prophylaxis medication — available at no cost at all of the state’s 67 county health departments by the end of 2018.
The CDC says taking PrEP daily lowers the risk of contracting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent and lowers the risk of contracting HIV from needle injection by more than 70 percent.
The Florida Department of Health claims those in need will be able to access up to a 90-day supply of the medication at county STD and family planning clinics.
This plan of action beefs up the work the state has previously put in place to combat the spread of HIV. Plus, an online magazine focused on HIV-related content, reports 16 county health departments have been providing PrEP services since 2016.
Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.