New PrEP and naloxone resources available in Northeast Health District

Monday, March 18, 2024
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The Northeast Health District - which serves Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton counties – is expanding resources available to local residents by offering PrEP, a medication that reduces the risk of HIV infection, and naloxone, a nasal spray that can block the effects of opioids and reverse overdoses.

PrEP, which stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” is an oral medication that reduces the risk of HIV infection. PrEP involves taking a pill once a day and regularly visiting a health care provider. When taken as prescribed, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 percent. This tool, along with the use of condoms and other prevention methods, can provide strong protection against HIV.

PrEP services are currently available at Clarke County Health Department in Athens, Walton County Health Department (Monroe location) and Greene County Health Department in Greensboro, with expansion to other clinics in the 10-county district to follow. All clinics in the district provide referrals to connect anyone recommended to receive PrEP with the nearest provider, as well as free rapid HIV testing and counseling.

For more information about PrEP and to have someone from the Northeast Health District contact you about starting PrEP treatment, visit GeorgiaProject10.com.

All health department clinics throughout the Northeast Health District now offer naloxone, a nasal spray to use in the event of an opioid overdose. Sold under various brand names including Narcan, naloxone is a medication that temporarily stops the effects of opioids and helps a person start breathing again after an opioid overdose. Offered through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), naloxone is available over-the-counter at no cost at health departments in the Northeast Health District, with a limit of one kit per person per visit. Each kit contains two doses, as more than one dose of naloxone may be required when stronger opioids like fentanyl are involved.

For more information on naloxone, including step-by-step instructions for administering it to someone who may have overdosed, visit https://northeasthealthdistrict.org/naloxone/.

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