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The leaders in Congress marked their return to session and President Trump’s first 100 days in office by trying once again to repeal the lifesaving coverage of Affordable Care Act. In response to the proposed bill, Physicians for Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper issued the following statement:

“President Trump will have spent his first 100 days in office attacking our nation’s health care. This new proposed ACA repeal bill has the same dangerous ingredients as the reckless bill that failed in Congress a month ago in the wake of vocal, widespread opposition from patients across the county. It will still put comprehensive reproductive health care out of reach for millions of women, especially low-income women, by attacking Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, and abortion coverage. On top of that, this new bill goes further by allowing states to opt out of providing protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, making premiums impossibly out of reach for these patients. It’s reprehensible that any of our elected officials would vote to reduce Americans’ health care coverage, and it’s just bad leadership to keep trying to pass such flawed bills.” 

In 2014, nearly a quarter of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States were among young people aged 13-24. Young people, particularly those in marginalized communities, face unique challenges when it comes to HIV and AIDS, and National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is an opportunity to talk about what we can do to improve health care services for at-risk youth.

One of the biggest recent developments in HIV prevention is Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP): a daily medication that is highly effective in preventing HIV infection. But because PrEP is relatively new, many physicians haven’t been trained in providing it – particularly to young patients. That’s why we’re excited to join with Dr. Vinny Chulani, an active faculty member in Physicians for Reproductive Health’s Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Education Program (ARSHEP) and a leading advocate for youth sexual and reproductive health, in marking National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day with two announcements on how we’re working to take on the challenge of youth HIV.

Dr. Chulani is an adolescent medicine specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. His work with homeless, LGBT, and commercially sexually exploited youth, who are particularly at risk for HIV, has made him deeply aware of the urgent need for HIV prevention services for young people in the local community. Today, Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Section of Adolescent Medicine and Bill Holt Clinic HIV programs are announcing Phoenix PrEP Access Project, a new HIV PrEP service to provide at-risk youth with access to the preventive medication that will dramatically reduce their risk for HIV.

Physicians for Reproductive Health has also chosen this day to release the newest module in our ARSHEP curriculum, HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Adolescents, created in collaboration with Dr. Chulani as well as with the New York Promoting and Advancing Teen Health project at Columbia University. In this module, we’ve provided an overview of what PrEP is, how to determine when a patient is a good candidate to use it, and additional resources for more information on HIV and PrEP. We hope this module will help medical professionals who care for young people to add PrEP to their practice.