LGBTQ South Florida

Facebook album: ‘I Am PrEP’ HIV prevention campaign launches in South Beach

From left, South Florida I Am PrEP organizers Patrick Whiteside, John Byrne and Stephan Ginez with New York PrEP activist Damon Jacobs at a Miami Beach campaign launch party Thursday, Nov. 12, at Hotel Gaythering.
From left, South Florida I Am PrEP organizers Patrick Whiteside, John Byrne and Stephan Ginez with New York PrEP activist Damon Jacobs at a Miami Beach campaign launch party Thursday, Nov. 12, at Hotel Gaythering. srothaus@miamiherald.com

Crossing generations, about 100 men on Thursday attended a party for a new I Am PrEP campaign launched at Hotel Gaythering in South Beach.

Click here to view and tag photos from Thursday’s I Am PrEP launch party at Steve Rothaus’ Gay South Florida on Facebook.

“I'm pleased to announce the formal launch of our 'I AM PREP' campaign in South Florida! You're invited to join us for drinks, celebrate and explore opportunities to contribute. We'll be debuting the Miami version of 'Swallow This!' from Harlem United as well as new flyers, posters and brochures we're generating for HIV testing sites, nonprofits, universities and college systems. We're also launching a monthly PrEP group,” Byrne posted Nov. 4 on Facebook.

Byrne, Miami Beach-based publisher of website Raw Story, says he has gotten support of popular gay bars including Gaythering, Twist and Score. Swallow This! campaign posters will soon hang in those clubs.

Swallow This! depicts a man with a blue pill on his tongue: PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which prevents contracting the AIDS virus.

“Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a prevention option for people who are at high risk of getting HIV. It’s meant to be used consistently, as a pill taken every day, and to be used with other prevention options such as condoms,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The drug Truvada, used to treat people with HIV, was approved for preventive use in 2012.

Byrne has set up a website for people to get more information about PrEP and how to get it.

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