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Mississippi: Worst for HIV, First for Call Center to Combat Disease

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi has become the first state in the nation to have a call center that provides information on a drug that helps to block HIV interactions.

“If this goes well in Mississippi, it could very well be expanded into other states for sure,” said Lynn Barclay, president of the American Sexual Health Association.  Her agency worked in collaboration with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) to create the center, which would provide information and referrals for residents interested in taking pre-exposure prophylaxis, know as PrEP.  Doctors said the pill, which is taken daily, is a high impact intervention for persons who participate in risky behavior, but are HIV negative.

Nationally, Mississippi had the 10th highest rate of HIV diagnosis in 2012, according to the latest data provided by MSDH.  Health advocates hope the new call center will help lower that rate.

Persons who call the center’s toll free number, 1.844.YES.PREP, would be asked a series of questions and must be willing to be tested for HIV.

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