CRUSH
Click on the image to visit the CRUSH website.

An HIV clinic in Oakland, California, is finding that young gay men of color are interested in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV and that they can adhere to the daily pill as well as older adults, reports an article by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP), which uses state funds to support HIV research.

The East Bay AIDS Center is home to a project called CRUSH (Connecting Resources for Urban Sexual Health) that has already enrolled more than 255 men on PrEP. The average age of participants is 24; many of them haven’t been to a doctor during their young adulthood; and they represent high-risk populations: Thirty-five percent are Latino, 20 percent are African American, 15 percent are Asian, and the others are mixed race or white.

The CHRP article explains how CRUSH project staff encourage young men to feel welcome at the clinic and to take an active role in their own health care. For example, the staff have done away with the formalities common at most doctor’s offices, and they’re careful to speak with clients in terms that are not judgmental or alienating.

The goal at CRUSH isn’t to get all HIV-negative clients on PrEP all the time, the article explains. Instead, the program hopes to give everyone access to sexual health care that includes PrEP when appropriate. This could mean taking PrEP during so-called “seasons of risk.” For example, a young man may take it for a few months, then quit, then resume for another several months.

To learn more about the CRUSH project, download a PDF of the article here.