Clinic to prevent HIV in the Borderland launches

The clinic will help distribute a pill, known as PrEP, to El Pasoans that is taken daily to help prevent HIV.

A brand new clinic is set to open its doors with a launch party Thursday evening, and it’s the first of its kind in the Borderland.

The clinic will help distribute a pill, known as PrEP, to El Pasoans that is taken daily to help prevent HIV.

PrEP is for those who are HIV negative, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) says that those who take it have up to 92 percent lower risk of getting HIV.

The Borderland Aids Partnership is combining with the Centro San Vicente Health Center to open the clinic.

Centro San Vicente is a federally qualified health care center, and this new clinic will provide patients with advice on providing PrEP and determine if it’s right for them.

Organizers say it’ll help both those insured and uninsured through grants and funding, making sure that no one is left behind.

El Paso County Judge Ruben Vogt will be speaking at the event launching the clinic, and it’s something that he’s passionate about.

A press release says that Vogt says “Too many El Pasoans continue to be diagnosed with HIV every year and too few clinicians are prescribing PrEP.”

Jorge Rocha of West El Paso agrees, telling KFOX14 that, "It’s progress in El Paso. It’s progress because if we have one clinic in El Paso and it shows that it’s been successful, that it’s minimizing the disease in El Paso basically adding a second one on the West side would be beneficial to everyone in the city and eventually, obviously our goal is to to minimize the disease in itself.”

Rocha says that the only problem he can see is that people don’t know a lot about PrEP. He says, “We’ve got to get them informed and we’ve got to get them to actually attend these things."

He concluded "HIV affects everyone, not just the gay community, and I think that having this clinic is a step forward in neutralizing the disease."

Those wishing to learn more about the clinic, its costs, and if they’re elgible for PrEP can attend Thursday’s launch party. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the San Vicente clinic, located at 10780 Pebble Hills Blvd, Suite G-1.

Clinic hours will be on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and those seeking more information can call the clinic at 915-773-0601.

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