EPIC has a longtime commitment to HIV/AIDS prevention and education. Through various education, support and activities, we aim to help everyone stay safe and healthy. For more information on Prevention and Education, please contact us at (727) 328-3260.
We provide HIV/AIDS education in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Our prevention team is available to speak at local schools, faith communities, businesses and community groups and can assist with planning health fairs, outreach initiatives and related civic activities. To schedule a speaker, call us at (727) 328-3260.
There are many ways you can stay safe and prevent HIV infection. It is most commonly spread person-to-person through sexual contact (anal, vaginal or oral) or the sharing of injection drug needles or works (paraphernalia).
To protect yourself and others you should:
- Practice abstinence (do not have any type of sex at all). Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing HIV and other STDs.
- Practice mutual monogamy (agree to be sexually active with only one person, and that person agrees to be sexually active only with you). Reducing your number of sexual partners can decrease your risk for HIV. You should both still be tested for HIV and share your results with one another. You also should use condoms for further protection from HIV and other STDs.
- Use condoms. When used consistently and correctly every time you have sex, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV and other STD infections. Latex condoms provide the best protection. Polyurethane or plastic condoms are good options to use if you have latex allergies. Barriers, including condoms, dental dams or rubber latex sheets, are also good for protection during oral sex.
- Not share needles or works.
- Get tested for HIV and other STD infections.
VOICES/VOCES (Video Opportunities for Innovative Condom Education and Safer Sex) is a one-hour video-based prevention program for those who are at high risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV or other STDs. Attendees learn to develop negotiation skills for condom use. This Department of Health intervention is targeted toward youth, particularly young girls, but may be tailored for other populations.
Our comprehensive risk counseling counselors go to schools, faith communities and other community locations. Groups are taught in English or Spanish. The class includes questionnaires, videos, education and role-playing. The goal is to empower participants to speak their wishes about using condoms and protect themselves and others from infection.
HIV Education Series
A monthly HIV education series for our clients addresses various HIV and health topics, such as how to be an informed patient, medical adherence, nutrition and more. This series is presented during lunchtime by speakers from pharmaceutical companies and food and resources are provided.
Comprehensive Risk Counseling
Comprehensive risk counseling is a program that teaches HIV-positive clients how to change high-risk behaviors that are harmful to themselves and others. Our goal is to help them develop new healthy behaviors that improve their well-being and prevent others from HIV.
Free HIV Testing and Condom Distribution
Free rapid HIV testing and condoms are available at our locations, mobile unit and community events throughout our area. Test results are ready in about 15 minutes. Appointments are not necessary.
Click here for our locations.
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, also known as Truvada) is a combination of two medications that helps prevent HIV infection for people who are negative for the virus but at especially high risk for contracting it. These medications must be taken daily and prescribed and managed by a physician. Our RN expert provides education to physicians and other health care providers in addition to one-on-one counseling with the community, helping those who are eligible get connected to treatment. Click here to learn more.
- HIV/AIDS prevention education and event planning in the community
- PrEP treatment education and counseling to physicians and the community
- Specialized intervention programs for clients and the community
- HIV education series for clients
- Comprehensive risk counseling for clients
- Free HIV testing and condom distribution for the community