Health officials discuss local HIV resources

Charlie Sheen's announcement that he is HIV-positive sparked a renewed conversation on the disease in the Bronx Tuesday.



Health officials point out that there are resources available in the borough.



Doctors say screenings are free at the nonprofit BOOM! Health clinic and can take as little as 15 minutes.



Other nonprofits offer similar services, but BOOM! has a focus on HIV and viral hepatitis prevention, according to assistant director Jamil Luna.



The clinic also provides preventative care and other resources.



Health officials also say new medications do a better job at fighting the virus, and other medications even help people avoid contracting it in the first place.



Prophylaxis is a medication that greatly reduces the chance someone will contract HIV, but Dr. Edward Telzak, the lead expert on infectious disease at St. Barnabas Hospital, says people should remember that it doesn't protect users from other types of sexually transmitted infections.


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