Norfolk Resident Shares Story for National PrEP Awareness Campaign

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Norfolk resident Jon Banwarth shares his story why he started taking PrEP – the pill to prevent HIV helped him take control of his health as part of the latest Greater than AIDS educational media campaign.

In the video, Banwarth says,

“Most people pay little or nothing for PrEP, and if you have insurance, they have options as well. I’m definitely empowered by my PrEP use. Before I was on PrEP, if I knew that somebody was HIV-positive, I was defensive, I was nervous. I don’t have that fear anymore. I can live as I want to live and I can be with who I want to be with. I think the most important thing that we can do is talk about it, and I will talk to PrEP to anybody who will listen, all the time.”

PrEP is a once-daily pill for people who do not have HIV who want added protection. When taken every day, PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV infection.  Although PrEP is an effective HIV prevention tool, according to a national survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation only about 1 in 10 young adults know about it. Recent studies from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Emory University find that use is lagging in communities and areas with high rates of infection.

Banwarth’s video is part of the Powered by PrEP outreach campaign and is being distributed in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Health.

If you have questions about PrEP or would like to find a local provider, please visit the campaign’s website HERE.