Whitney Essex, Family Nurse Practitioner at Cherokee Nation Health Services

Thursday, January 23rd 2020, 9:13 am
By: News On 6

 “Oklahoma is one of the top seven states with the highest numbers of HIV cases,” said Whitney Essex, family nurse practitioner at Cherokee Nation Health Services. “We are very lucky to be able to prevent it with PrEP and to offer PrEP through the Cherokee Nation.” There are more than 5,900 people living with HIV in Oklahoma today, and that number is expected to rise each and every year.

“The principal of PrEP is to take one pill, one time a day,” Essex said. “It is easy to get tested at any of our clinics in Cherokee Nation.”

Approximately 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today. About 15 percent of them (1 in 7) are unaware they are infected. Speaking with your partner(s), practicing safe sex and getting on proper HIV prevention medication, such as Truvada ® used for PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis can help lower those numbers and reduce the risk of HIV in Oklahoma.

To get started with PrEP, schedule an appointment today at any Cherokee Nation Health Center. A full list of those locations can be found here.

And you can learn more about preventing HIV at the Center for Disease Control’s website located here.