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PrEP facts

Bent-Con 2014 Takes the Fight to HIV with panels on PrEP and events supporting condom use!

In an effort to help combat the alarming number of new HIV infections at both the local and national level, Bent-Con, the largest LGBT Pop Culture Convention in the world, will hold programming around PrEP, a new tool to fight HIV, and events sponsored by LA Condom, an LA based safer-sex educational group, at their 2014 convention.

The 2014 convention happens this November 7th, 8th, and 9th, at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center, in Burbank, CA.

PrEP stands for PrEP Exposure Prophylaxis, a once-a-day pill to prevent HIV infections in HIV negative people. LA Condom is the prominent Los Angeles organization that encourages County residents to practice safer sex by using condoms.

“The rates of new HIV infections in our community are alarming,” Bent-Con Vice-President Jody Wheeler said. “50,000 new cases reported each year to the CDC. That’s essentially unchanged from a decade ago. Condoms and safer sex messages have to be reinforced. We also need to increase awareness of PrEP, an incredible new tool that will help to stop those new infections.”

The PrEP panel, titled PrEP: The Battle Against HIV Has A New Protector, consists of health experts from across the city discussing how PrEP,  along with existing methods of HIV prevention including testing and treatment, is being used to combat new HIV infections.

The panel includes  Aaron Fox, Director of State Affairs at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Anthony Mills, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCLA, and Terry Smith, Director of Prevention at AIDS Project Los Angeles. The panel will be led by Eric Paul Leue, a prominent Sexual Health Advocate and Mr. LA Leather 2014.

“When taken consistently, PrEP can reduce the odds of HIV infection by 99% or more. Our community needs to be better aware of this medication and consider if it is a preventive tool that’s right for them. This panel will help them do that,” Wheeler said.

This past year, The Centers for Disease Control encouraged doctors and patients to consider the use of Truvada as PrEP against HIV.

PrEP: The Battle Against HIV Has A New Protector happens Saturday, November 8th, at 1PM.

LA Condom will sponsor two of Bent-Con’s live-drawing events: Sketch and Photo with the Models from LA Condom and The BIG ONE Photo Shoot. The first of these will allow con goers to paint, sketch, and photo the sexy model athletes provided by LA Condom.  The second is an all hands event, where everyone in costume will gather together for a mass picture celebrating geekiness and protection. They will also have an outreach and education table in the convention hall, complete with safer sex information and free condoms.

“LA Condom makes condoms and safer-sex sexy. They are an incredible resource for our community and a wonderful partner for this event,” Wheeler said.

Sketch and Photo with the Models from LA Condom happens at 5PM on Saturday, November 8th and The BIG ONE Photo Shoot happens at 5:30 PM the same day.

LA Condom is a project of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seeks to prevent and control HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in partnership with the communities of Los Angeles County.

“Bent-Con celebrates lots of fictional heroes, whether they use space-ships or powered armor,” Bent-Con President Sean Z. Maker said. “But in discussing safer sex, in educating around condoms, PrEP, testing, and other methods of risk reduction, we’re encouraging attendees to be heroes in real life.”

Now in its fifth year, Bent-Con promotes, encourages, celebrates and appreciates the LGBT and LGBT-friendly contributions to the comic-book, gaming, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror mediums of artists, writers, creators, publishers, directors, actors, producers and fans, be they works targeted directly to LGBT audiences or the larger realm of underground and mainstream pop-culture as a whole.

Bent-Con is November 7th-9th, 2014, at the Burbank Marriott and Convention Center, in Burbank, California, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.  Tickets, room reservations, and updated information is available at www.bent-con.org.

Media Contact:

Jody Wheeler
Vice President of Bent-Con
310-621-5599
jody@bent-con.org