HIV & COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 Info for The HIV community
For more information about COVID-19, visit these government sites:
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold across the world, and we here at COMPASS Cares is continuing to develop resources that address the HIV epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ready Set PrEP – Ending the HIV Epidemic
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) medications are prescription medications that people take daily to significantly reduce their risk of acquiring HIV through sex. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body. Two medications are FDA-approved for use as PrEP: TRUVADA and DESCOVY. When taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex.
Outspoken and unapologetic, Uriah is an HIV activist who has participated in several national and international panels on HIV in the Black community and has sat on multiple boards focusing on Black LGBT empowerment.
HIV and African American Gay and Bisexual Men
Stigma, homophobia, and discrimination put gay and bisexual men of all races/ethnicities at risk for multiple physical and mental health problems and affects whether they seek and receive high-quality health services, including HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention services. In addition to stigma and other risk factors affecting all gay and bisexual men, several factors are particularly important for African American gay and bisexual men. These include the following:
Delay in linkage to HIV medical care. According to an MMWR, only 67% of African American gay and bisexual men with newly diagnosed HIV, and 58% with previously diagnosed HIV, were linked to HIV medical care within 90 days of the diagnosis. Early linkage to HIV medical care is essential to achieving viral suppression.
Low percentages of viral suppression. African American gay and bisexual men have lower percentages of viral suppression compared to gay and bisexual men of other races/ethnicities. Because of the low percentages of viral suppression, the higher prevalence of HIV in that population, and the greater likelihood of having sexual partners of the same race, compared with other races/ethnicities, African American gay and bisexual men are at greater risk of being exposed to HIV.
Socioeconomic factors. The poverty rate among African Americans is high. The socioeconomic factors associated with poverty—including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education—directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection and affect the health of people living with and at risk for HIV. These factors may explain why African Americans have worse outcomes on the HIV continuum of care, including lower rates of linkage to care and viral suppression.
To learn more about a range of health issues affecting African American gay and bisexual men, visit the CDC Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health site.