West Hollywood City Hall is being cast in blue nighttime light during the last week in March 2017 in support of a groundbreaking HIV prevention campaign launched by the Los Angeles LGBT Center to raise awareness about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a once-daily medicine that, when taken daily, can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 99 percent.
The Center’s boldly named campaign, “F*ck w/out Fear,” was activated in January 2017 and has been effective in reaching people who are most at risk of HIV infection — young gay and bisexual men of color and transgender women, among others. Since its launch, the Center has doubled the number of people it is helping to get on PrEP each week. PrEP is available only by prescription and everyone who gets PrEP is advised that it will not protect them from other sexually transmitted diseases.
The City of West Hollywood’s support for the Center’s campaign is part of the City’s strong commitment to combatting HIV/AIDS, which has had a significant impact in the City of West Hollywood. Throughout the epidemic’s history, the disease’s elevated infection rate among gay men has caused a devastatingly high number of deaths in the City.
“The City of West Hollywood continues to be a bold leader in fighting HIV and promoting sexual health,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John D’Amico. “One-pill-a-day PrEP and regular condom use are powerful tools to protect people from HIV, but too few people who are at greatest risk of infection know about PrEP. By featuring targeted campaign artwork on city sidewalks in front of popular bars, we’re reaching tens of thousands of people who live, work, and play in West Hollywood and we’re able to do it at no cost to the Center or to taxpayers. We’re determined to end HIV transmissions here — and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, with its large sexual health facility in our city, is a great partner in helping us do that.”
The Center is taking the PrEP message to the streets with sidewalk art at key locations near LGBT bars and cafes along Santa Monica Boulevard. As part of the campaign, and to reinforce the importance of protection against other sexually transmitted diseases, The PickUp will distribute free campaign-branded condoms. Campaign materials encourage people to learn more about PrEP by visiting www.PrEPHere.org.
In its 32-year history as in incorporated municipality, the City of West Hollywood was one of the first government entities to provide social services grants to local AIDS and HIV organizations. The City sponsored one of the first AIDS awareness campaigns in the country in October 1985 and the City’s response to the AIDS crisis has been recognized as a model for other cities, nationally and globally. The City is currently developing and implementing an HIV Zero Initiative Strategic Plan.
PrEP is covered by most insurance plans. For individuals who don’t have health insurance, there are patient assistance programs available through the Center that can help make it affordable. For details, please visit www.PrEPHere.org.
For more information about the Center’s campaign to raise awareness about PrEP, please contact Jim Key, Chief Marketing Officer, Los Angeles LGBT Center, at (323) 993-7623. For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, please call Lisa Marie Belsanti, Director of Communications, City of West Hollywood, at (323) 848-6378. For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.
West Hollywood City Hall in blue lights: www.flickr.com/photos/weho/albums/72157681881690326 / Photos by Jon Viscott / Courtesy of the City of West Hollywood