New HIV infections and HIV-related deaths are at an all-time low in San Francisco, dropping more than 17 percent from 2013 to 2014. In all, there were 302 new HIV diagnoses last year, and 177 deaths. (In 1992, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, San Francisco recorded 2,331 deaths.)
Public health officials put the drop in numbers down to the approval of Truvada as PrEP — pre-exposure prophylaxis. Since the introduction of Truvada in 2012, new infections have dropped in San Francisco by 30 percent. Proof positive, say officials, of PrEP’s effectiveness as a prevention tool.
In addition to PrEP, the wide availability of testing and rapid access to antiretroviral treatment is also driving the drop in numbers. “All of that together,” said city supervisor Scott Wiener — who last year publicly announced he takes Truvada as PrEP — “creates a very strong atmosphere for reducing new infections.”