Be PrEPared is an initiative founded by AED members in the spring of 2019 with the goal of educating LSU and the Baton Rouge community on PrEP, HIV, and other STIs, as well as reducing the stigma associated with being HIV positive.
What is HIV?
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus contracted via blood, semen, pre seminal fluid, breast milk, vaginal fluids and rectal mucus that weakens the immune system by destroying T-cells that fight infection. HIV, if left untreated, develops into AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but antiretroviral therapy can significantly lower an individuals risk of viral and disease progression. Since the HIV outbreak in the early 1960s, around 32 million people have died from HIV and there are currently 37.9 million people living with HIV today.
What is Prep?
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a once daily oral pill that is 92-99% effective at preventing HIV contraction when taken consistently. PrEP works by protecting T-cells from being invaded with HIV. PrEP is also known by it's trade name, Truvada. Most insurance plans, including Medicaid cover PrEP with variable copays. PrEP is a great protection option for high risk individuals which include IV drug users and people engaging in unprotected sex with a partner who has HIV or who is unaware of their status.
The map above shows the rates of HIV diagnoses in the US from 2017. Source: CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2017 pdf icon[PDF – 6 MB] HIV Surveillance Report 2018;29.
HIV in Our community
Louisiana has one of the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses in the nation, and Baton Rouge remains an epicenter for the national HIV crisis, ranking 5th for new HIV diagnosis rates among all large US metropolitan areas in 2017. The Louisiana Department of Health has reported that the highest burden of those cases lies in the zip codes adjacent to LSU. The CDC’s extensive research on the HIV crisis in America has revealed that people age 20-24 are one of the highest-risk age groups for infection, a demographic that includes most students at LSU. Thus, LSU has a responsibility to reduce the threat of HIV to our community.
2023-2024 Be PrEPared Officers:
BR Outreach Coordinator:
LSU Outreach Coordinator:
Communities Interact Project
Want to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS in your local high school, library, or community? Participate in our Communities Interact Project! Fill out the attached form here and contact your local organization to present! Posters and power-points will be provided- just be willing to speak, and spread awareness of HIV/AIDS! (An example email to reach out to your local organization will be provided after filling out the form.) Service points will be provided!
HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART)
HAART offers free, on site testing with no appointment needed from 9:00am-4:00pm Monday-Friday. HAART's testing office is located at 3849 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA, 70806. Additionally, HAART offers a Wellness program and free condoms. Visit http://www.haartinc.org/ for more information!
Baton Rouge AIDS Society (BRASS)
BRASS offers free HIV counseling and testing Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:00pm-7:00pm with an appointment. BRASS is funded by the Louisiana Public Health Institute and offers free case management for HIV positive individuals. BRASS also offers free condoms and education about prevention of HIV/AIDS. Visit http://batonrougeaidssociety.org for more information!
Health Testing Centers
Health Testing Centers is located at 7922 Summa Avenue Suite A-2 Baton Rouge, LA, 70809. Health Testing Centers does not accept insurance but does have relatively low prices for a 10 test STD panel. This test includes 4th generation HIV 1&2 Antibody/Antigen, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes 1&2, hepatitis A/B/C antibodies, and hepatitis B surface antigen tests. Health Testing Centers also offers individual HIV tests. Visit their website at https://www.healthtestingcenters.com/ to learn more!
LSU Student Health Center
The LSU Student Health center offers HIV screening for $21. More information can be found here: https://www.lsu.edu/shc/
This page was updated on October 11th, 2022.