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TAMPA, Fla. — Metro Inclusive Health is one of the Grand Marshalls in this year’s Tampa’s Pride Parade. METRO is in its 30th year providing LGBTQ-focused healthcare to the Tampa Bay area, which includes HIV testing.

People living with HIV can live normal long healthy lives,” explained Brian Bailey the chief marketing and experience officer for Metro Inclusive Health.

Bailey explained to ABC Action News just how far we’ve come with treating HIV. Done with simplified treatments sometimes a single shot or pill, HIV not just manageable, but preventable.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is 99% effective at preventing at-risk people from ever getting it. The federal government has instructed insurance companies to cover all costs associated with PrEP, making it easier to get.

“Your co-pay, your lab work, the doctor’s visit that’s how important PrEP is in our community to preventing HIV in the next generation,” said Bailey.

There was a time when the Tampa Bay area had some of the highest HIV case numbers in the country. That’s expected to be a much different situation in the coming years.

Bailey said that the same community that was so impacted by HIV in the 80s and 90s is largely responsible for the advances we have in treatment and prevention today.

 

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