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As Pinellas HIV Infections Rise, One Local Organization is Taking Action

According to the Florida Department of Health, HIV infections are rising in much of Pinellas County, Tampa Bay, and Florida. Metro Wellness and Community Centers is enlisting “My Little PrEPpy” and a free limited run t-shirt to encourage testing and education about PrEP, a daily pill that can reduce exposure to HIV by up to 99%.

Most insurance companies cover PrEP and METRO has cost reduction programs that can provide PrEP at little to no out-of-pocket cost to the individual. METRO is also now offering same day PrEP– meaning one can get their prescription following testing.

According to the Florida Department of Health, in Pinellas County among those aged 35-39 HIV infections rose nearly 100%, around 50% among those aged 50-54, and teens aged 13-19 saw an increase of 25%. Among men who sleep with men, HIV infections rose nearly 22%.

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