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[August 8, 2016]

SUNY Downstate’s STAR Program Receives $1.9 Million to Expand HIV Prevention Services

Brooklyn, NY – SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Program has been awarded $1.9 million in new grant funding from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide enhanced HIV prevention services throughout Brooklyn using the latest biomedical tools, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV (PEP). 

PrEP is a relatively new HIV prevention strategy in which an HIV-negative person takes a daily pill to reduce the risk for acquiring HIV, while PEP is a strategy to prevent HIV infection after a possible recent exposure by taking HIV medications within 3 days after a single high-risk event.

“PrEP and PEP are effective tools to prevent HIV infection and these new funds will allow us to expand access to them in Brooklyn’s high prevalence communities,” said Distinguished Service Professor Jack DeHovitz, MD, MPH, FACP, director of the STAR Program.

The program was awarded $750,000 over three years to provide “Evidence-Based Interventions for Biomedical Prevention in Clinical Settings” via PrEP through education, care coordination, prevention navigation, and clinical care.  An award of $759,000 over three years will establish a Center of Excellence (COE) to provide PEP.  A third three-year award of $399,531 will enable STAR to establish a Status-Neutral Care Coordination Program, to provide care coordination services to HIV-negative individuals at risk for HIV infection.

The new projects will be spearheaded by Elliot DeHaan, MD, director of Hepatitis C (HCV) services at STAR.  Dr. DeHaan has played a pivotal role in the development of prevention and treatment services for HIV and HCV as well as providing leadership to the development of the Star Health Center’s LGBT Health Initiative. 

The STAR Health Center, SUNY Downstate’s outpatient primary care clinic for adults with or at risk for HIV, provides multiple evidence-based HIV prevention interventions on-site and in the community, including PrEP and PEP.  Additional interventions include substance abuse treatment and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

For further information regarding the new services, please contact Tracey Griffith, MHA, program manager, at 718-270-1715 or tracey.griffith@downstate.edu.

 

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Health Related Professions, School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school. For more information, visit www.downstate.edu.     

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