We have taken a stand.
As loyal supporters of Face to Face, I want you to be the first to hear our news! We have revised our mission to focus on a bold, audacious goal: ending HIV in Sonoma County, while supporting the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS. We have launched our re-energized mission along with a revised logo and updated web site that supports our goal to end HIV.
Despite the fact that HIV transmission has been at a consistent 40 new cases per year and more people are living with HIV/AIDS in Sonoma County than ever before, we are not daunted. With your support, we started HIV testing a few years ago and have since adopted innovative, cutting edge strategies in reaching our target audience and providing effective risk reduction counseling.
I recently read a very disturbing article in POZ Magazine that states HIV rates among young gay and bi-sexual men, ages 13-24, in the U.S. are increasing by 22 percent. Conservative calculations predict that half of all gay men who are 22 years old today will be HIV positive by the time they are 50. We cannot let this happen here in Sonoma County!
New information and powerful new tools are giving the HIV community real hope that we can have a dramatic impact and actually halt the spread of the virus. The majority of HIV+ individuals in treatment have an undetectable level of HIV. In a recent study of mixed-status couples who did not use condoms, zero HIV transmission occurred when the HIV+ partner had an undetectable viral load. This underlines the importance of finding those who do not know they are HIV+ and linking them to medical care and antiviral medication.
Another new prevention strategy just gaining broad recognition is PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis).
One of these HIV antiviral drugs, Truvada, has shown to be up to 99% effective in keeping HIV negative persons from becoming infected when taken on a daily basis. I just attended the first national forum on PrEP in San Francisco and came away very hopeful about this new and promising option to end HIV.
Nothing makes me more confident about our ability to fulfill our mission than your support. Our small, but committed staff and dedicated volunteers are making strides every day. We will end this epidemic the same way it started, one person at a time. Thank you for making our work possible. Your contributions allow us to provide free, anonymous HIV testing and risk reduction counseling all day, every day we’re open, in Spanish and English, with no appointment, and results ready in just 20 minutes. Thank you for joining with us in our commitment to end HIV here in Sonoma County.