NEW YORK — An incident at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center emergency room earlier this month in which a man requested PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) after fearing he’d been exposed to HIV but was allegedly told there was “no such treatment,” inspired an ACT UP protest on July 17, New York Magazine reported.
About 20 ACT UP members carried posters that said “Why Didn’t Your E.R. Know About HIV Morning-After Drugs?” and “How Many More Infected Before You Get it Right?” They walked in a circle and chanted, “What do we want? PEP on demand. When do we want it? Now!,” the magazine reported.
The man, whom ACT UP says wishes to remain anonymous, was allegedly told by three ER staffers that there was no such treatment, ACT UP claims according to the article. They told New York Magazine that it was only after they got in touch with a Mount Sinai doctor that the man was given PEP.
Hospital staff issued a statement saying he was treated properly. They referenced some “initial confusion” and quoted an e-mail supposedly from the man. A Mt. Sinai staff member told the New York Magazine reporter there “was a mix-up that night.”
ACT UP protesters claim that such occurrences are too common eight years after the CDC approved PEP and that an alarming number of New York residents are unaware that PEP is available, the article said.