Planned Parenthood opens HIV programs headquarters in Las Vegas.

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Planned Parenthood staff

By Planned Parenthood staff
Special to the Spectrum

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) has opened a new Las Vegas facility, Nuestros Centro Communitario, at 2785 E. Desert Inn Rd., Suite 260. Nuestros Centro Communitario means Our Community Center, and it serves as a community meeting and educational space. NCC is home to public aff airs team, responsible sex education institute team, development staff and HIV programs team.

While NCC already hosts several groups in the facility for both English and Spanish-speaking communities, we also provide educational sessions for youth, as well as space for phone banking and organizing. NCC is easily accessible via bus.

Clark County is one of the 48 counties across the nation that accounted for more than 50 percent of all new diagnoses in 2016 and 2017. Last year about 450 people were newly diagnosed here in Las Vegas. There have also been dramatic increases in gonorrhea and chlamydia over the last four years. This team has a lot to do in our fight to end HIV.

We are happy to announce that PPRM has chosen to locate its HIV programs headquarters in Las Vegas.

The HIV programs team provides free rapid-results HIV testing, small group educational sessions about HIV and other queer sexual health topics, group sessions for people living with HIV, including one-on-one non-medical case management, service navigation, PrEP education and access to PrEP services at any of our health centers. The HIV programs team includes three people in Las Vegas. Their background includes working with HIV prevention, treatment, advocacy and education for more than 15 years in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

Martin Walker, director of HIV programs, is a recent transplant to Las Vegas from Albuquerque. Walker has been overseeing HIV programs for five years.

Robert Thurmond, HIV programs manager, and Tiana Jones, HIV programs specialist, have a passion for ending HIV. They are out and about in all of the local bars and clubs, raising awareness about services and passing out safer sex kits. T

hey collaborate with local organizations, providing services to people living with HIV. They are teaching weekly classes on HIV, PrEP, U=U and STIs.

Today, the fight to end HIV looks different, compared to the past. With PrEP, we have a strong tool to prevent an HIV negative person from acquiring the virus, and with proper medical management, people living with HIV can actually prevent transmitting it to anyone else sexually by keeping the virus suppressed. We have all of the tools that we need to end new infections in a generation.

Ending HIV will be one of the most enduring achievements of our generation. PPRM is doing its part to reach that goal. It provides more than 26,000 HIV tests per year across a four-state region, and over 3,000 in Las Vegas alone. Staffers strive to maximize the results of those efforts by linking people to appropriate services, both at PPRM health centers and community partners.

For information about the services, or to get involved, call 702-718-0230, 800- 230-7526 or visit pprm.org.

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