HIV prevention program is officially launched in Araraquara

Event held this Monday in Araraquara

The Araraquara City Hall Meeting Room received the launch ceremony for the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment, which will be offered starting this Tuesday (5th) in the municipal health network. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event followed all health safety protocols and was broadcast live on the City Hall Facebook page, where the video is available for viewing.

PrEP is a treatment that is part of a set of combined prevention actions to fight the HIV virus, used in several countries. It is an effective prevention therapy offered to people who are more vulnerable to HIV, based on the combination of two drugs (tenofovir and emtricitabine, in a single pill) that strengthen the body to face possible contact with the virus.

The deputy mayor and secretary of Labour, Economic Development and Tourism, Damiano Neto, who represented Mayor Edinho at the ceremony, declared that the launch is extremely significant, especially given the fact that the city has always worked effectively to prevent and in the treatment of HIV. “Araraquara, once again, takes the lead and is a reference, being one of the first cities in the Regional Health Directorate (DRS-3) to implement PrEP treatment. This is only possible due to the dedication of the health team, the human rights team and the partnership with SESA, which is always available to the work of the municipality to contribute to such an important issue as this. I thank you all for your commitment so that we could be here launching this treatment program that is so fundamental for our city, which is undoubtedly very necessary in the care of those who are at risk of coming into contact with HIV and in situations of vulnerability. Our challenge now is to reach this audience that needs the treatment,” he said.

Dr. Maria Clara Gianna, deputy coordinator of the State STD/AIDS program in São Paulo, was optimistic about the launch of PrEP in Araraquara. “Our path is towards advancing public policy for STD/AIDS in our state. The pandemic was very complicated, as it impacted the issue of testing and impacted the difficulty of putting PrEP earlier in Araraquara and in several other municipalities. The impact of the pandemic was very cruel, but it is time for us to occupy the necessary spaces for the other public policies that are so important in our society”, she stressed.

Councilwoman Filipa Brunelli, who represented the City Council, was thrilled. “We spent years fighting for something that is so simple, but that is often so distant when we talk about public policy, which is sometimes not palpable for us. What Araraquara is experiencing today makes me wonder, sometimes, if we are really in Brazil. Geographically we are, but what about the rest? There is a destruction of HIV / AIDS policies that our Brazil has been suffering, a country that has already been an international reference when it comes to combating the HIV virus ”, she pointed out.

The doctor Talitha Martins, executive coordinator of Primary Care in Araraquara, who represented the Secretary of Health Eliana Honain, revealed that the implementation of PrEP is the result of a lot of dedication. “When we believed that we could bring PrEP to the city, we saw that the ideal was one thing, but we had a reduced team and it was necessary to structure it within our reality. We often saw that it was difficult, but we created alternatives. I believe that there is nothing impossible and what is often lacking is will. You all did a little bit and you don’t have a responsibility to one or the other. We all have a stake in this achievement,” she stressed.

The person responsible for the STI/AIDS program in Araraquara, Saliane Ribeiro, stated that PrEP was made available by the SUS about five years ago and the great difficulty in Araraquara was to fit this service into the municipality’s agenda. “We went in search of the project, trained ourselves, read articles, exchanged stickers, made contact with nurses from other states, went to São José do Rio Preto to get to know the center there, went to Ribeirão Preto and prepared a lot. Maybe it took a while because of the whim we had to make it beautiful, not to go back once we started. Today we are very happy to make this link of prevention mandala more available and we hope that this link can benefit many people,” she added.

Albert Andreone, project manager at the Secretariat for Human Rights and Popular Participation, responsible for the “Close in Prevention” project, highlighted that it is now necessary to spread PrEP in the city. “The intention of this service is to reach as many people as possible, mainly offering access with campaigns, calls for insertion in all secretariats, coordinators and administrations of the municipality, and that we can all speak the same language and become multipliers of this service. service”, he quoted, who called to the table the doctor Marco Antonio Ribas, manager of Epidemiological Surveillance of the State of São Paulo, who helped in the construction of public policy.

The nurse responsible for STI/AIDS care at the Special Health Service (SESA), Marisa Monteiro, also celebrated the implementation of the treatment in the city. “We are very happy. PrEP is an extremely important tool in containing the HIV virus. We are on a walk for a few months, talking and discussing the subject, looking for partners to be able to face this in an appropriate, responsible and committed way. And today we are meeting with all these partners who allowed us to give this good news to the municipality. We are very pleased, very grateful, and our partners are very hopeful and very keen to get it right,” she said.

The LGBTQIA+ Policy advisor, Érika Matheus, was unable to attend the ceremony due to dengue, but sent a message to those present. “The commitment to prevention and health should not be restricted to the LGBT population, but in an intersectoral and intersectional way, including in the face of the increase in hetero-cis people who contract HIV/AIDS and STIs. The stigma that LGBT people are the main subjects who have and spread these infections in general is in the past. However, we must work from a harm reduction perspective for LGBT people who have some exposure to these infections. In this way, it is necessary to create an awareness and prevention network that is based on transversal dialogue and that aims to reduce the impacts on those who are most exposed in their daily lives. And, in this sense, the LGBTQIA + Advisory Service remains available in the care of this group, both by disseminating awareness, prevention and health, as well as working on non-stigmatization ”, she pointed out.

Also participating in the event were councilor Thainara Faria (PT); the secretary of Human Rights and Popular Participation, Amanda Vizoná; the coordinator of Health Surveillance, Rodrigo Ramos; the coordinator of Ethnic-Racial Policies in Araraquara, Alessandra Laurindo; the coordinator of Policies for Women, Alessandra Dadona; and Popular Participation coordinator Anderson Morfy.

ATTENDANCE

PrEP is only indicated for people with a greater chance of becoming infected, taking into account sexual practices and more vulnerable contacts. These groups include: gay men and other men who have sex with men; trans people; sex workers; people with HIV-infected partners; people with recurrence of STIs (sexually transmitted infection); and people who make repeated use of PEP (post sexual exposure prophylaxis).

In Araraquara, the IST/AIDS/CTA/SESA Program organized a care scheme with five centers, where it will work with the prescribing nurse and a doctor in charge, who, in addition to the PREP, will also meet the demands of intercurrences. The service centers are: Central Pole – CTA (Testing and Counseling Center) with nurse Saliane Ribeiro; USF Jardim Cruzeiro do Sul with nurse Ana Lucia Pereira; CMS Selmi Dei 1, with nurse Rogério Ornela; USF Jardim Indaiá, with nurse Vagner Prates; and SESA (Special Health Service of Araraquara), with Dr. Murilo Carlos de Moraes.

Appointments can be scheduled in person or by phone (16) 3333-6700.

CLOSE ON PREVENTION

It is worth noting that Araraquara also has the “Close in Prevention”, a project that provides for the elaboration of actions aimed at the prevention and treatment of HIV for the entire population of Araraquara, especially the vulnerable public, which includes university students, the LGBT population and the young population, from 15 to 39 years old, the age group most affected by the virus. The aim of the program is to serologically test people for HIV, syphilis and viral hepatitis, and do a great job of prevention, counseling and referral.

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