What is PrEP?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. A combination of two HIV medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine), sold under the name Truvada® (pronounced tru vá duh), is approved for daily use as PrEP to help prevent an HIV-negative person from getting HIV from a sexual or injection-drug-using partner who’s positive. Studies have shown that PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if it is used as prescribed. PrEP is much less effective when it is not taken consistently.
Why take PrEP?
For those at very high risk for HIV, PrEP can significantly reduce your risk of HIV infection if taken daily. Daily PrEP use can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and from injection drug use by more than 70%. You can combine additional strategies with PrEP to reduce your risk even further.
Is PrEP a vaccine?
No. PrEP does not work the same way as a vaccine. A vaccine teaches your body to fight off infection for several years. For PrEP, you take a pill every day by mouth. The pill that was shown to be safe and to help block HIV infection is called “Truvada” (pronounced tru vá duh). Truvada is a combination of two drugs (tenofovir and emtricitabine). If you take PrEP daily, the presence of the medicine in your bloodstream can often stop HIV from taking hold and spreading in your body. If you do not take PrEP every day, there may not be enough medicine in your bloodstream to block the virus.
How the program works
The program is scheduled to launch during Spring 2017. Check back soon for more info. For more information call 210.207.7292.
What you should know
The STD and HIV Prevention and Control Program provides evaluation
and diagnosis of STD infections, as well as treatment and counseling for
most STDs. Infections requiring ongoing medical care will be referred
to a primary care provider.
Who is eligible?
Residents of San Antonio and Bexar County and those who have no other means of obtaining STD services.
If you need to speak to a counselor, call 210.207.2816. All medical records and conversations are confidential. You also can call 210.207.8830 or 1.800.CDC.INFO (1.800.232.4636, select option #1) for information regarding STDs or HIV/AIDS.
Patients are seen on a walk-in basis only. To be seen you must arrive at least 45 minutes prior to closing.
- Bring a current photo id. We do not test anonymously.
- Have something to eat and drink before to prevent feeling weak/nauseated during treatment.
- Parking is free and plentiful in the parking lot of our clinic.
- Patients take a number upon arrival.
- Patients are not called in numerical/alphabetical order.
- As long as you have a number/letter, you will be seen.
- Please let the receptionist know if you require a school/work excuse note.
Patients will be issued a fee sheet for services and a receipt will be provided. Fees vary according to services provided. STD charges follow the current Medicaid rate; however, special arrangements will be considered.
These may be automated.
- Herpes Hotline: 1.800.230.6039
- Herpes support: 210.736.2244
- National Herpes Hotline: 919.361.8488
- S.A. AIDS Foundation: 210.225.4715
- S.A. Friends: 210.989.0104
- AIDS Hotline: 1.800.342.AIDS
- CDC National STD/HIV/AIDS Hotline:1.800.CDC.INFO (or 1.800.232.4636)
STDs are also known as sexually-transmitted diseases. In the past, they were known as venereal disease. If you think you may have been exposed to one or more, then you will need to be seen by a healthcare provider, either your own private physician or your local health department. According to the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services, some of the more common STDs include:
- Chlamydia - is a bacterial infection and is the most frequently reported infectious disease. Chlamydia is highest in those sexually active individuals ages 25 and under. Chlamydia is spread by having sexual contact with an infected partner. You can not catch Chlamydia from towels, toilet seats or sheets. Some symptoms of Chlamydia are a yellowish thick discharge, itching and burning.
- Gonorrhea - is the second most commonly reported bacterial STD. Among women, several infections of gonorrhea do not produce recognizable symptoms until serious complications occur. Because of this it is important for sexually active women to be screened for STDs. Gonorrhea is easily detected in males and is sometimes referred to as “the clap” or “drip.” Some symptoms of gonorrhea are yellowish/green discharge, dripping, and odor.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV or warts) - are genital warts that may appear to be red, pink or dirty gray in color. And according to the CDC MMWR guidelines, August 4, 2006, Vol. 55, there are 100 types of HPV and more than 30 types can infect the genital area. Most infections in these areas are types 6 and 11. Types 16, 18, 31, 33, and 35 are strongly associated with cervical cancer neoplasia. (These types are thought to lead to cervical cancer.) Only DNA or RNA testing can detect what type of HPV with which a person may be infected. Many men and women who have HPV do not have symptoms. There is NO cure for HPV. However, warts can be treated with external medication, freezing or laser therapy, or can be surgically removed by a physician. To prevent warts, as with all other STDs, you should not have sex. Vaginal, oral, and anal sex can pass the infection from one person to another. You are safest if you have only one sex partner who is NOT infected and they only have sex with you. It is best to also use latex condoms. When used correctly, condoms can help prevent you from getting HPV. It is a good practice for women to have an annual pap smear done by your physician or go to a Family Planning clinic.
- Herpes (HSV or Herpes simplex virus) - is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can cause sores around the mouth (oral herpes) and around the genitalia. Herpes is very common and is spread by direct skin to skin contact. Genital herpes is almost always spread through sexual contact. According to the CDC MMWR guidelines, up to 50% of first time cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-1. Recurrences or outbreaks are much less frequent for genital HSV-1 than HSV-2 infections. There is NO cure for herpes. But you can consult your physician regarding medications for herpes. If you want to avoid genital herpes DO NOT have sexual contact of any kind during an outbreak. You can use a condom between outbreaks. However, condoms do not provide 100% protection but they are the best available form of prevention for people who are sexually active.
- Syphilis - is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases. The first stage of syphilis is a single painless sore at the site of infection. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.
Syphilis has two other stages, secondary and latent. Secondary syphilis symptoms typically begin with the development of a rash on one or more areas of the body. Late stages of syphilis, may damage internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. For further information, see the CDC’s fact sheet.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should go to your doctor or local health department right away. Bicillin is the preferred treatment of choice for all stages of syphilis.
- Trichomoniasis - also known as “trick,” this is a parasite (single-celled protozoan) that affects both men and women. Some people who are infected might not have symptoms. Some people have a yellow-green discharge with irritation and a strong “fishy” odor. If you feel that you may have this disease, please contact your doctor or come to your local health department.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) - is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV attacks the immune system, which provides our bodies the ability to fight infections. HIV finds and destroys a type of white blood cell (T cells or CD4 cells) that the immune system must have to fight disease. HIV can be transmitted through blood and bodily fluids through such activities as sexual intercourse or drug injection use.
- Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) - is the final stage of HIV infection. It can take years for a person infected with HIV, even without treatment, to reach this stage. Having AIDS means that the virus has weakened the immune system to the point at which the body has a difficult time fighting infections. When someone has one or more of a group of infections and a low number of T cells, he or she has AIDS. For more information, view the CDC’s questions and answers on HIV science.
FAST TRACK CITIES
Download here the Fast-Track to Ending HIV in San Antonio - A Report to the Community
Fast Track Cities aims to leverage existing HIV programs and resources to strengthen citywide responses by reaching 90-90-90 targets:
- 90% of people with HIV are diagnosed
- 90% of people diagnosed with HIV are being treated
- 90% of people being treated for HIV have undetectable viral loads
San Antonio now joins other Fast Track Cities in the United States, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Denver, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Providence, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Last year, Bexar County had 360 new HIV diagnoses. In addition to newly diagnosed cases, we have roughly 6,000 people living with HIV (rate: 310.4 per 100,000) in Bexar County. Most of these people are 45 years and older.
Fast Track Cities is possible thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between every local HIV/AIDS service organization, the San Antonio People’s Caucus of consumers living with HIV, the Bexar County Ryan White Program Administrative Agency, the Ryan White Planning Council, the Center for Health Care Services, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health), and local academic institutions with strengths in community based research. This collaboration group is called the End Stigma End HIV Alliance (the Alliance).
The Alliance assessed community resources and needs and created the following areas of focus:
Prevention & Diagnosis
- Culturally and linguistically appropriate education about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), especially in communities where HIV is most heavily concentrated, as well as among health professionals, stakeholders and consumer groups
- Routine testing for HIV, which should be integrated with testing for syphilis and for hepatitis C when indicated, in primary care, emergency departments, jails, detention centers and specialty courts
- Expanded sexual health education in schools
Linkage to Care
- Pathways for linkage to care that span healthcare systems, are client-centered, and include formal and informal support
- A centralized eligibility process and/or reduced eligibility paperwork
- Wider health insurance enrollment among people with HIV and those at risk for HIV
Viral Load Suppression (Retention in Care)
- Use of shared metrics and data among all Ryan White-funded HIV care organizations
- Increased use of peer mentors, evidence-based navigator programs and promotoras by HIV care providers
- Greater access to housing for people with HIV
Stigma & Advocacy
- Increasing HIV awareness and the level of urgency among local leaders and policymakers
- Broadly elevating community awareness about HIV; including awareness of HIV as a social justice and health equity concern.
Starting in 2018, Fast Track Cities will host a San Antonio data dashboard on its web portal. Metro Health will update the website annually, so stakeholders can track the community’s progress. Additional HIV data can be found at HIV210.org and Health Data Reports.
The Fast-Track Cities Initiative, launched in 2014, is a global partnership between the City of Paris, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in collaboration with local, national, regional and international partners and stakeholders.