The Alliance has compiled a number of resources available for survivors, their friends and families, and professionals assisting survivors in New York City.

Policy Priority: Legislative-HIV PEP

Sexual assault has many physical and mental health considerations including the transmission of the HIV virus. While the exact rate of HIV infection after a sexual assault is difficult to ascertain due to ethical reasons and feasibility limitations, HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) should be a component of the information and treatment options given to survivors. HIV PEP is a 28-day treatment that is preferably started within 96 hours after contact and taken twice a day as a preventative measure against HIV. In 2005 The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute (NYSDOH AI) published guidelines that address HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) following sexual assault. These guidelines include the recommendation that all survivors of sexual assault be treated in an emergency department or equivalent healthcare setting and that all victims have access to appropriate medical interventions, including an HIV PEP regimen.

Survivors are given a “starter pack” of the HIV PEP medication in the Emergency Department; the costs for the initial treatment are covered under the Forensic Payment Act. Survivors that do not have the capacity to lay out the remaining cost of this month-long treatment can apply for an Emergency Award. In order to obtain this compensation, however, they must currently undertake a time consuming and onerous process with the NYS Crime Victims Board (CVB.)

The Alliance believes that survivors should have a streamlined process to ensure their best health and we support either a legislative or administrative solution. We applaud the efforts of Assembly members Ellen Jaffee and Aileen Gunther to address this issue and look forward to making this critical change.

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2011 Celebration of Excellence Ceremony