This week (October 23-29) is PrEP Awareness Week! As Housing Works is an organization dedicated to ending HIV/AIDS, PrEP is an important an important tool in ending the AIDS epidemic! PrEP is a drug regimen for HIV-negative individuals that can help prevent HIV transmission. We recently chatted with Marcus B. who works for Housing Works' Youth and Prevention Services (YPS) and also moonlights as a model from time to time for our photoshoots about their role and PrEP Awareness Week.
• Tell us a little bit about what you do at Housing Works.
Here at Housing Works I work as the social media content and engagement manager for Housing Works Youth and Prevention Services. In my role I collaborate with the marketing department in creating social media content to engage with the LGBTQ+ community within the New York City area.
• What is your favorite thing about YPS?
One of my favorite things about YPS is the self-expression and big vibe energy we have. It’s never a dull moment when working, creating content, outreaching, or ki ki’ing in the offices.
• What's the clubhouse and how is that community?
The Youth Clubhouse is a safe space first and foremost. It’s where our clients can come and work on their résumés, partake in our various programming activities like “4Play” which is our Queer gaming night, or hang out and chat with their peers. It’s a community within a community. Housing Works as a whole is a community and then we have the Clubhouse that opens up that window and invites everyone to come and find community of their own.
• So this week is PrEP Awareness week; what's the scoop? Tell us about why PrEP is so important.
The scoop? Okay so boom! This week we are getting clients PrEP’d for the spooky season activities and beyond. We’re currently offering free entry to one of the dopest queer Halloween parties of the season (DickAppointment) by offering free sexual health screenings and chatting with folks about PrEP and getting them connected to our PrEP services. PrEP is important because it is a huge step in helping in the AIDS/HIV epidemic. We stress that PrEP is for EVERY BODY and we encourage everyone to take charge of their sexual health.
• TelePrEP was just launched, can you tell us what that is.
It did! So TelePrEP is a very convenient way for folks to get connected to our PrEP services right from the comfort of their own homes. Within minutes while chillin on the couch, individuals can schedule their assessments and appointments, have a Housing Works tester meet you at your home to conduct an HIV test, and then meet with a provider to get their meds sent out to them within 3 days max. Super convenient, super easy.
• And finally, what's your favorite thing about working for Housing Works?
My favorite thing about working for thee Housing Works is the diversity. There are so many moving parts to this organization and with that, there are so many people with many different backgrounds and stories that I’m always intrigued by. And of course attending all the balls, community gatherings, fundraisers, and being a part of photo shoots.
PrEP can be taken as a daily blue pill, and is now also available as an injection. PrEP is available at Housing Works’ New York City community health centers and available to all regardless of insurance or ability to pay.