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Go, Team, Go: Join David Campos’ PrEP Rally This Thursday!

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Image from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Okay, there won’t be a colour guard flag dancing to Total Eclipse of the Heart, nor will a bevvy of tight-sweatered cheerleaders rush in and form a pyramid while holding sparklers in their teeth.  And whereas you may not want to piant your face two-toned or scream your school slogan, I assure you this rally is definitely shout worthy.

Why might you ask?  Well, although he’s still in a dead heat with David Chiu and simultaneously helping to defend  the rights of how people identify themselves,  Supervisor David Campos’ has started another crusade for his constituency by wanting to make PrEP available to every citizen of the City of San Francisco.

If you aren’t jumping for joy yet, you might not quite know what PrEP is.  The San Francisco Department of Public Health describes it much better, but, in a nutshell, PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is an FDA-approved HIV prevention method utilizing the drug Truvada.  You take the pill every day and it can lower your risk of contracting HIV by as much as 99%.  Not a replacement for condoms, but something to use in conjunction, it has been so effective thus far that the CDC issued a recommendation to doctors to use it as a preventative treatment this past May.  You may start the ecstatic shouting now.

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Image from Instinct Magazine/ Getty Images

The odd thing though, is that there is still a lot of questions, lack of education, and stigma around PrEP.  So even though most insurance companies cover it  (as well as Healthy San Francisco, Medicare and Medicaid) fewer then 1,000 people in town have access to it, which given SF’s long and intimate history with HIV/AIDS, seems just a tad insane.

People trying to get on PrEP often run into road blocks by not knowing where or what to ask for, dealing with hesitant or ill informed physicians, or out right shaming from medical professionals and the community alike.  Or they may not just be able to afford it.

This Thursday, Campos is holding a special hearing at City Hall to ask the city to make PrEP available to every San Franciscan, regardless of their income.  Beforehand he is hosting a rally on the Polk Street steps of City Hall  and wants as many people to come and show the mayor and the rest of the board of supervisors how important this program is.  Thousands of people literally died fighting to get us to this point.  We are talking about FREE access to protection against HIV.  The least we can do is show up.

However, many of us can’t get the time off and work for people who could care less if we have access to a lunch hour, much less protective medication.  If you work for one these trolls, fear not- you can make your voice heard, regardless.  In order for this program to be implemented it needs to pass the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  If you have a cell phone or a laptop you can either call, e-mail, OR if you just can’t let your fountain pens and typewriter ribbons go, write a letter to, your closest district supe.   Yes, hammering out a strongly worded missive to your local representative may sound like the fuitle ranting of your malcontent uncle back home, but on a city level and  in a town this small, you’d be surprised how much weight your words hold.

So throw your hands up in the air and show some spirit.  This fall, we have the hometown advantage.

 

Below is a list of contact info for our distinguished board and, of course, Mister Ed:

Mayor Edwin Lee

City Hall, 
Room 200,
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 554-6160
Email: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

John Avalos

District 11 (Outer Mission; Excelsior, Ingelside)
(415) 554-6975 – Voice
(415) 554-6979 – Fax
John.Avalos@sfgov.org

David Campos
District 9 (Inner Mission; Bernal Heights)
(415) 554-5144 – voice
(415) 554-6255 – fax
David.Campos@sfgov.org

Malia Cohen
District 10 (Bayview; Dogpatch; Hunter’s Point)
(415) 554-7670 – Voice
(415) 554-7674 – Fax
Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org

Jane Kim
District 6 (Tenderloin; Union Square, South of Market)
(415) 554-7970 – Voice
(415) 554-7974 – Fax
Jane.Kim@sfgov.org

Katy Tang
District 4 (Outer Sunset; Parkside)
Katy.Tang@sfgov.org

Norman Yee
District 7 (West Portal; Stonestown; Parkmerced; St. Francis Wood)
(415) 554-6516 – Voice
(415) 554-6546 – Fax
Norman.Yee@sfgov.org

London Breed 
District 5 (Western Addition; Inner Sunset; Upper & Lower Haight)
(415) 554-7630 – Voice
(415) 554-7634 – Fax
London.Breed@sfgov.org

David Chiu
District 3 (North Beach; Chinatown, Russian Hill)
(415) 554-7450 – Voice
(415) 554-7454 – Fax
David.Chiu@sfgov.org

Mark Farrell
District 2 (Marina; Cow Hollow, The Presidio of San Francisco)
(415) 554-7752 – Voice
(415) 554-7843 – Fax
Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org

Eric Mar
District 1 (Richmond; Lone Mountain)
(415) 554-7410 – Voice
(415) 554-7415 – Fax
Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org

Scott Wiener
District 8 (Castro; Noe Valley; Mission Dolores; Diamond Heights)
(415) 554-6968 – Voice
(415) 554-6909 – Fax
Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org

 

Massive SF PrEP Rally
Thursday, September 18, 2014
9:00 a.m.

San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (Polk Street btw Grove and McAllister)
[Civic Center]
SF

 

Editor’s Note: Stephen Torres is a card -carrying homo and executive board member of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, which has endorsed David Campos for California State Assembly.

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Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inability to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999.
By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for the SF Bay Guardian, Bold Italic and 7x7. He also likes to enjoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.