Houston Health Department
Houston Health Department adding PrEP, nPEP, and sexual health services at La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center
October 11, 2021
HOUSTON - The Houston Health Department will offer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) and sexual health services at La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center, 1809 N. Main Houston, TX 77009, beginning October 11, 2021.
PrEP is an FDA-approved daily pill that significantly reduces the risk of HIV infection. It reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent when used consistently by HIV-negative people. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70 percent.
“La Nueva Casa de Amigos clinic is in the heart of Houston’s near Northside, and the Hispanic population will benefit greatly from this service,” said Beau Mitts, chief of the department’s Bureau of HIV/STD & Viral Hepatitis Prevention. “As part of our strategy to end the HIV epidemic, we are looking to reach people in communities lacking access to healthcare. Expanding sexual health services will help us to educate near Northside residents about HIV and STI testing and treatments.”
Every year the health department receives reports of more than 1,200 new HIV diagnoses in people from Houston and Harris County, where an estimated 28,000 people live with the disease. Hispanics represent nearly 31% of the people living with HIV, Blacks, 48% and white (non-Hispanic), 16%.
The expansion to La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center is part of the department’s Ending the HIV Epidemic plan, which aims for a 75% reduction in new HIV infections by 2025 and at least a 90% reduction by 2030.
The department’s Northside, Sharpstown, and Sunnyside Health Centers also offer PrEP, nPEP, and sexual health services.
La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center will offer fully integrated sexual health services that include screenings for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), STI treatments, and referral to physical exams, OB-GYN services and other healthcare services. The health center is fully staffed with PrEP counselors and other licensed health practitioners.
PrEP is a daily medication for people who are HIV-negative and:
- have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load),
- have not consistently used a condom, or
- have been diagnosed with an STI in the past 6 months.
PrEP is also recommended for people who inject drugs and have an injection partner with HIV, or who share needles, syringes, or other injection equipment.
nPEP is an emergency medication for people who are HIV negative. It could prevent HIV infection if started within 36 hours, but not beyond 72 hours after potential exposure, and is prescribed for 28 days.
People wanting more information about PrEP, nPEP, or HIV and STI services can make an appointment by calling the department appointment lines at 832-393-5427/832-393-5428 or by calling La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center directly at 832-395-0570.