Miriam Hospital Marks World AIDS Day With New Prevention Program
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
HIV/AIDS in Rhode Island
Over the past 10 years, 1,548 new HIV cases were diagnosed in Rhode Island. To keep this number from expanding, Philip Chan, M.D., of The Miriam Hospital’s Division of Infectious Diseases is leading the PrEP program, one of the first clinical programs in the country to offer PrEP to at-risk patients in a clinical setting.
“The Miriam’s PrEP program is designed to address the ongoing HIV epidemic in the state,” said Chan. “Given that Rhode Island is a small state with a relatively close community, PrEP in combination with other available HIV prevention strategies, offers the chance to reduce the number of new HIV diagnoses to near zero in the future.”
For Rhode Islanders who are HIV-negative and at higher risk, PrEP can help prevent them from becoming infected. Higher risk groups include gay, bisexual, and other men who have unprotected sex with one or more men a year, and both HIV-negative men and women in a relationship with an HIV-positive person.
“While PrEP does offer an additional layer of protection, it’s not 100 percent effective. Condoms, the easiest prevention mechanism, should still always be used,” said Chan. “The PrEP program is part of our larger HIV/STD prevention program, which offers free testing to avoid the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.”
Chan encourages teens and adults, especially gay and bisexual men, to be routinely tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center offers free and anonymous HIV and STD testing at 1125 North Main Street, on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Testing is offered on a walk-in basis and no appointment is necessary. Counselors are also available to discuss PrEP. For more information about PrEP, visit www.miriamhospital.org/hiv-prevention or call (401) 793-4715.
For more information about The Miriam Hospital’s programs and services for HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, please visit the hospital’s new infectious disease and immunology website at http://www.miriamhospital.org/Infectious_Diseases.html
About The Miriam Hospital
The Miriam Hospital is a 247-bed, not-for-profit teaching hospital affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. It offers expertise in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, men’s health, and minimally invasive surgery and is home to the state’s first Joint Commission-certified Stroke Center and robotic surgery program. The hospital is nationally known for its HIV/AIDS and behavioral and preventive medicine research, including weight control, physical activity and smoking cessation.
World AIDS Day
First held in 1988, World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died.
An estimated 34 million people worldwide currently live with HIV. AIDS has killed over 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Related Slideshow: Check Out The Grades: Rhode Island Hospitals Report Card
A recent survey released by The Leapfrog Group assigns a Hospital Safety Score, using the report card system of A to F to each of the hospitals in Rhode Island. These grades are based on expert analysis of injuries, infections and errors that cause harm or death during a hospital stay.
Let's see how each of Rhode Island's hospitals were graded from highest to lowest:
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