Kansas City, MO (PRWEB) December 02, 2013
PEP Angels announced today that it will begin delivering HIV exams to metro-area homes twenty-four hours a day - seven days a week - according to Matt Rice, who founded PEP Angels in March of 2013.
Many reports state that nearly 1 in 5 people are unaware of their HIV status. Given the statistics about condom use, Rice says: “we’ve got to make it as easy as possible for people to get tested – whenever and however they want”.
PEP Angels will deliver an OraSure HIV exam at any time of the day or night in Kansas City for $15 dollars. Local pharmacies are charging $40 for the exact same exam.
“People don’t always tell you the truth about their status. There is still an awful stigma surrounding the disease that hinders many people’s ability to show candor when it comes to their sexual health” says Rice, commenting on the David Mangum, who continued engaging in high-risk sexual behavior after contracting HIV nearly a decade ago. Magnum claimed that he had unprotected sex with as many as 300 partners.
Suggesting that access to 24/7 rapid HIV testing will deter risky behavior, Rice says: “We’ll deliver an HIV exam at 2pm or 2am, all you have to do is ask your partner if they’re willing to take an HIV exam. If the exam comes back positive, we will help you acquire Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in a speedy and legal manner.”
According to a Fox 4 news report which aired in April of 2013, Kansas City Health reporter, Meryl Lin McKean, noted that: “Most people know about the morning-after pill that you can take after sex to lower your chances of pregnancy. But most don’t know you can take drugs after exposure to HIV to reduce the chances of getting the AIDS virus”
“People who have been calling PEP an ‘HIV morning after pill’ have got it all wrong,” says Rice. “It's really an ‘hour-after’ pill".
PEP Angels hopes to release the findings from its inquiry into HIV prevention best practices (and how they are tied to federal funding), in the first quarter of 2014. The group is suggesting that anyone who was given a free HIV exam and a risk reduction interview by a Ryan White funded organization including: Kansas City Care Clinic, Good Samaritan Project, or the Kansas City Public Health Department, (after 2005 - and who subsequently contracted HIV), contact an attorney immediately.
"I can’t get one HIV prevention manager to tell me why they are passing along some CDC standards (in risk reduction interviews) and not others,” says Rice. “It’s especially concerning given the rise in new cases of HIV among certain groups. A lot of people are making a lot of money providing services”.
Neither Good Samaritan Project, Kansas City Care Clinic, or The Kansas City Public Health Department mention Post Exposure Prophylaxis on their websites even though it has been recommended since 2005.
This following excerpt is taken from the “Myth vs. Fact” section of Good Samaritan Project’s website – no mention of PEP as a standard HIV prevention method:
“Myth: I’m not worried about becoming HIV positive — new drugs will keep heal me.
Fact: Antiretroviral drugs are improving and extending the lives of many HIV-infected people. However, many of these drugs are expensive and have serious side effects. Also, drug-resistant strains of HIV make treatment increasingly challenging.
“We only hope it doesn’t have anything to with nearly $2.5 million a year that a handful of individuals and contractors are receiving from the Federal Government through the Ryan White Care Act,” says Rice. “In order to remain eligible, the city must have had 1000 cases of HIV over the last five years.”
Drug companies have hotlines for people without insurance who are in need of PEP. However, according to Rice: “It’s still a complicated process – and most of these cases don’t happen between the hours of 9 and 5pm”.
PEP Angels continues to operate its 24/7 local hotline.
About PEP Angels:
The mission of PEP Angels is to arrest the spread of HIV in Kansas City. Started in 2013 by tech entrepreneur Matt Rice, PEP Angels operates a 24/7 hotline that provides free access to the newest findings on HIV prevention. It started providing at-cost exams delivered anywhere in Kansas City, anytime of the day or night for $15 dollars. Pharmacies charge $40 dollars for the same exam.
PEP Angels allows anyone who wants to be an HIV volunteer to receive text/email alerts when someone needs an HIV exam delivered – regardless of what time of day it is. The first tester to respond to the alert delivers an HIV exam to both parties allowing them to decide if PEP is warranted.
To be a delivery person for PEP Angels, sign up as a counselor to receive Red Alerts at http://www.pepangels.org. The only requirement is that you keep a copy of the newly released HIV prevention guidelines from the New York State Department of Health.
About Matt Rice:
Matt Rice is a tech entrepreneur. Previously, he was an Associate Director with Nations Media Partners and a Vice President at Falkenberg Capital where he represented early stage tech companies. In 2011 he started PicPhix which connects photo editors to Facebook users. PicPhix, which is currently in Beta, was admitted into Microsoft’s Business incubator in 2012. Based on their most recent securities offering, the company is valued at $1.75 million. Rice started PEP Angels in 2013 in response to the rapid spreading of HIV in the Kansas City community. He holds a B.A. in Political science from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Keywords: Kansas City Public Health Department, PEP, Post Exposure Prophylaxis, Free HIV exams, Anonymous testing, confidential testing, Kansas City Care Clinic, Good Samaritan Project, GSP, KC Care