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Rutgers Commemorates World AIDS Day with Community HIV Prevention Forum

On December 7, Rutgers School of Public Health will welcome both public health authorities and community members to “Prepping for PrEP”, a forum that emphasizes the awareness of and access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as a means to prevent HIV’s spread. Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, a leading HIV/AIDS research authority, and dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, along with Dr. Suzanne Willard, director of the HIV Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the Rutgers School of Nursing, are spearheading this event in honor of World AIDS Day.

The forum will feature a moderated panel discussion and keynote speaker Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, activist, researcher, and the current deputy commissioner of disease control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who will address PrEP in the context of the various populations that make up a complex metropolitan area, like New York City. The forum will close with remarks from Mr. Steve Saunders, director of HIV Prevention and Education at the New Jersey Department of Health, who will address the future of PrEP and its adoption.

The half-day forum will take place in Newark, New Jersey at the Paul Robeson Camps Center (350 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd, Bergen Room). The event is free and open to all to attend. For those seeking continuing education credits, there is a $30 fee.

Our honorable panelists and their topics of discussion include:

  • “Barriers & Facilitators for PrEP” – Dr. Sarit Golub, professor and director, Hunter HIV/AIDS Research Team (HART), The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Hunter College of the City University of New York
  • “A Global Perspective on PrEP” – Dr. Richard Marlink, director, Rutgers Global Health Institute
  • “HIV Criminalization” – Ms. Jennifer Pomeranz, assistant professor, New York University College of Global Public Health.
  • “Cis-Gender Male PrEP User” – Mr. Grant Roth, program assistant, HIV Prevention, Mount Sinai
  • “Clinical Perspective” – Dr. Shobha Swaminathan, associate professor, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • “PrEP Use in Young Gay Black Men and Trans Women” – Mr. Gary Paul Wright, executive director, African American Office of Gay Concerns (AAOGC)
  • “Hyacinth AIDS Foundation and PrEP” – Mr. Derrick Gibbs, prevention quality assurance manager, Hyacinth AIDS Foundation

PrEP, a prevention plan that helps decrease the possibility of HIV infection. A single daily pill can reduce the chance of HIV infection among high-risk persons by 92 percent. However, challenges surrounding awareness and accessibility must be addressed before we can realize the potential of this form of protection for the people who need it most.

Learn more about or RSVP for: “Prepping for PrEP”