A daily pill taken by many gay men to prevent HIV infection has failed to gain traction with at-risk women and Wednesday Los Angeles County public health officials are aiming to change that.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has created a series of videos to raise awareness among women about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis as part of a campaign called GetPrEP LA.

PrEP is a pill that, if taken daily, is up to 99 percent effective in preventing HIV infection, according to county health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report of PrEP use showing that in 2016, woman accounted for less than 5 percent of the roughly 78,000 people on PrEP nationwide.

While men accounted for the vast majority of new HIV diagnoses during the time period, use by women is still less than proportionate to their risk, according to the data.

“In L.A. County every year there are approximately 200 new HIV infections in women, with black women and Latinas accounting for approximately 80 percent (of new cases),” said Dr. Leo Moore, who heads the county’s division of HIV and STD programs. “Outreach to black women, Latinas and women at risk for HIV acquisition is an important effort to increase PrEP awareness and access.”

A premiere of the video series — titled “Sister Friends: Get PrEP’d” and available in English and Spanish — is scheduled Wednesday morning at a community event at the California African American Museum at Exposition Park.

While black men and women accounted for approximately 40 percent of persons who could benefit from PrEP, white men and women were prescribed PrEP nearly six times more often, according to the CDC study.

Public health officials will be joined at the premiere by Alicia Machado, who was crowned Miss Universe in 1996, and women who are currently using PrEP.

County health officials recommend PrEP for women:

— in an ongoing sexual relationship with a person who is HIV-positive and not effectively treated for the virus or in the first six months of treatment;

— who are trying to get pregnant and are in an ongoing sexual relationship with a person who is HIV-positive, even if that person is on HIV treatment;

— who have been recently diagnosed with early syphilis;

— who exchange sex for money or drugs;

— who inject drugs or hormones that are not prescribed; or

— in a relationship with a man who has sex with other men or is suspected to be having sex with other men.

PrEP is available for free or at low cost for individuals whose health insurance does not cover the treatment.

More information can be found at www.getprepla.com/women.

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