After years of decline, sexually transmitted infections are increasing at alarming rates. The national rate of reported primary and secondary syphilis was over four times greater in 2016 than it had been in 2000. Syphilis cases increased by 18% between 2015 and 2016 alone. Much of this growth is attributable to cases among men who have sex with men. Between 2017 and 2013, the number of new syphilis cases among MSM grew annually (75%). MSM now account for half of all syphilis cases and 80% of these cases among men.
In 2015, California saw over 4,700 new cases of HIV. Nationally, in the same year, California led the nation for HIV transmissions via injection drug use and among men who have sex with men who inject drugs. Other key groups impacted by both epidemics include women, people of color, those who are homeless and youth. Research has found that people who inject drugs from these subgroups are 4-29 times more likely to have an HIV-positive diagnosis. In California, researchers have estimated that a single safe injection site in San Francisco can prevent 3.3 new HIV transmissions per year and would ... [Read More];
On November 8 and 9, 2017, the California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers (CHPRC) convened two groups of public health department and community leaders to develop concrete strategies for increasing uptake and retention of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Our policy research center conducted a study in the summer of 2017 to understand the perspectives of frontline healthcare workers and generate recommendations for the state’s PrEP Assistance Program. We recently conducted a follow-up study to explore this topic in less populated, smaller California counties. In this report, we highlighted additional considerations and expanded upon previous findings that seem even more pertinent to smaller counties. For example, concerns about workload and staffing for the PrEP Assistance Program were not necessarily unique to smaller counties, but may be more pronounced in counties with fewer resources dedicated to PrEP.
Despite large increases in PrEP use across California, there are sharp differences in uptake by age, gender, race/ethnicity and geographic region among Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
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