By Seth Lamming
From PHN Issue 41, Winter 2020
In October 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new medicine, Descovy, for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV. PrEP is a drug regimen that people can take daily or on a particular schedule to prevent getting HIV from sex. PrEP has not been proven to be effective in preventing HIV transmission through needle sharing. Descovy (made up of emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide) and Truvada (made up of emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) are the only two medications that can be used for PrEP. They are both frequently prescribed as treatment options for people who have HIV. Descovy and Truvada are both nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors, which means they stop HIV
DNA from being copied from its RNA blueprints. This stops HIV from replicating. Most people in prisons and jails are not prescribed these meds for PrEP. The “logic” is that people in prisons and jails do not need PrEP because they are not allowed to engage in sexual activities while incarcerated.
Our sister publication, Turn It Up! Staying Strong Inside, has just released its second issue! This is a beautiful, detailed and comprehensive resource for people in prison about how to survive, thrive and advocate for their health. Turn It Up! is published by the SERO Project.
You can read it online here and order a copy for your loved one in prison here.
Visit TheBody for a wonderful interview with the editors.
Advice from a formerly incarcerated person living with HIV
From PHN Issue 37, Summer 2018
1. Take care of yourself. Make your health
your top priority. Ask for what you think
you need. Don’t wait for someone to take
care of you. Advocating for your health is
a constant job, especially in prison or jail.
Continue reading “Words to Live By”
By Kirsten Sandgren
From PHN Issue 36, Spring 2018
The human body has a truly amazing set of defenses against infection. Considering how much our bodies are exposed to in the course of our day-to-day lives, it’s a pretty rare occurrence for us to get sick. Even when we do become ill, the immune system is able to recognize the invader, signal to the many different cells that are responsible for keeping us healthy, and almost always come out victorious. Despite this, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is able to cause lifelong infection. HIV affects over one million Americans and more than 37 million people around the world.There is no cure for HIV/AIDS currently, but there is promising research being done to improve treatment and hopefully find a cure in the future.
Continue reading “Searching for an HIV cure”
By Lucy Gleysteen
From PHN Issue 35, Winter 2018
Finding out that you have both HIV and hepatitis C can be difficult. Some people can be living with HIV and/or hepatitis C and not know their status because it sometimes takes a long time for symptoms to appear. If you think you might have contracted HIV or hepatitis C, you can ask your doctor to provide testing. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, prisons should provide testing. Continue reading “HIV and Hepatitis C Co-Infection”
Reprinted with permission from the Prevention Access Campaign
From PHN Issue 34, Fall 2017
There is now evidence-based confirmation that the risk of (sexual) HIV transmission from a person living with HIV (PLHIV), who is on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and has achieved an undetectable viral load in their blood for at least 6 months is negligible to non-existent. (Negligible is defined as: so small or unimportant as to be not worth considering; insignificant.) While HIV is not always transmitted even with a detectable viral load, when the partner with HIV has an undetectable viral load this both protects their own health and prevents new HIV infections.[i] Continue reading “Risk of Sexual Transmission of HIV from a Person Living with HIV who has an Undetectable Viral Load”
by Eric Ward
From PHN Issue 33, Summer 2017
If you have HIV, your prison should treat you during the time
you are incarcerated. There is no cure for HIV, but taking the HIV meds will allow
you to live longer and with fewer symptoms. Taking your HIV meds as prescribed can
also reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to other people. Continue reading “HIV Drug Resistance and the Importance of Taking Your Medications”
By Priyanka Anand
From PHN Issue 32, Spring 2017
This article is going to
break down the types of HIV drugs, and why people living with HIV need to take
medications to control the virus. Continue reading “HIV Meds”
By Timothy Hinkhouse
From PHN Issue 31, Winter 2017
I have been going back in time with my thoughts to when I
was newly diagnosed with HIV in 1990. Some serious thought has been put into
how I’ve managed to live this long, so many years beyond the original
expiration date given by the doctor who broke the news to me. I was 19 when I
was told of my HIV diagnosis. With the lack of medications and knowledge of how
to manage this disease, I was going to die before I was 22 years old. So I was
told. Continue reading “How I’ve Protected My HIV Health”
FROM THE 2016 DISCHARGE PLANNING MANUAL
From PHN Issue 30, Fall 2016
If you are going to be released, there are a lot of things to think about first. Are you going to get medical assistance? How will you continue to get medical care for your HIV? Where is a good medical provider you can see? What happens if you can’t pay for medical care? How can you make sure that you won’t miss any medications? Does your prison or jail give you a supply of medications, a medical discharge summary and/or the name of a doctor to see once you are out? There is a lot to plan for. Below are some tips to help you to plan for your HIV care on the outside. Continue reading “Preparing for Your HIV Care on the Outside”