First PrEP Campaign in the City of Milwaukee, “Stay PrEP’d Up,” Launches During Pride Month

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin unveils a PrEP awareness campaign to help combat HIV in communities of color

MILWAUKEE—(June 14, 2019) — The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) is launching the first pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) marketing campaign in Milwaukee, “Stay PrEP’d Up.” Given the high rates of sexually transmitted infections and the associated possibility for contracting HIV among young people in the city, the new ARCW campaign is designed to reach black gay and bisexual men and transwomen, ages 25-34, who are at high risk for HIV. In Milwaukee, these individuals account for the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses, people living with HIV and people who have ever received an AIDS diagnosis.

PrEP is a one-pill, once-a-day medication that is more than 90 percent effective at reducing the risk of contracting HIV via sexual activity, and it is one of the most powerful HIV prevention tools available. However, a number of significant societal, institutional and financial barriers need to be overcome to increase the number of people at risk for HIV who access PrEP.

“The Stay PrEP’d Up marketing campaign was driven by insights we gleaned from the community via focus groups with the people who need PrEP the most. Everything we learned from our research is addressed in the campaign: lack of education, clinician accessibility, the high cost of the medication and stigma about HIV and sexuality,” said Michael Gifford, ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer. “Today, 99% of African Americans who could benefit from taking

PrEP are not doing so for a host of reasons. This campaign is designed to move the needle in Milwaukee when it comes to people receiving the knowledge they need to reduce their risk of contracting HIV.”

Milwaukee continues to experience several disparities related to HIV. In 2017, 83 percent of new HIV diagnoses were among people of color. Additionally, published research, including that from the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Center for AIDS Intervention Research, indicates black men in Milwaukee are diagnosed with HIV four times higher than white men.

Stay PrEP’d Up is an integrated marketing campaign to spread awareness and change perceptions about PrEP. The campaign is being released in June to honor Pride Month, and will include people from the community telling real stories about their relationships, self-worth, sense of community and how they use PrEP to encourage their peers to learn more about and consider taking PrEP.

The ARCW Stay PrEP’d Up campaign will utilize several media platforms including video, a dedicated website, social media, print advertising, digital advertising and more to engage individuals within the Milwaukee community. To view the videos, access more resources and download Stay PrEP’d Up marketing collateral, please visit www.stayprepdup.com.

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin

The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) is a nationally-recognized leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The nonprofit organization is best known for its high-quality HIV patient outcomes. The ARCW HIV Medical Home model of care offers integrated health and social services including medical, dental, mental health and pharmacies, along with case management and social support provided by a team of professionals dedicated to patient care. Through its integrated approach, more than 7,000 HIV patients gain the health care and social services they need to live long, healthy and fulfilling lives with HIV. ARCW is also a leading provider of innovative and aggressive prevention services that help at-risk individuals remain HIV negative. The organization operates in 12 locations in Wisconsin, as well as in Denver, CO and Saint Louis, MO. To learn more, please visit www.arcw.org, and the organization’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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