In Recognition of Pride Month, State Department of Health Highlights #Sexualhealth and Prep Awareness Campaigns

New #SexualHealth Campaign Promotes Positive Sexual Health Awareness and Behaviors

For New Yorkers Who Do Not Have HIV But Are Placed at Risk, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) Can Prevent HIV and Promote Sexual Health

Learn More about #SexualHealth Here and PrEP Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 27, 2022) – In recognition of Pride Month, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) today is highlighting its #SexualHealth and PrEP Awareness campaigns. NYSDOH launched the #SexualHealth campaign to raise awareness for sexual health and to normalize positive sexual health behaviors. A state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality, according to the American Sexual Health Association, being sexually healthy means:

  • Knowing that sexuality is a full and natural part of life and involves more than sexual behavior.
  • Being able to have sexual pleasure, satisfaction, and intimacy when desired.
  • Being able to talk about sexual health with others including sexual partners and health care providers.
  • Being able to recognize and respect the sexual rights we all share.
  • Having access to sexual health information, education, and care.
  • Putting a stop to STIs and unplanned pregnancies and seeking care and treatment when needed.

"Sexual health is a fundamental component of good public health," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "And we must not stigmatize sex or neglect sexual health, which would only lead to negative health outcomes. I strongly encourage New Yorkers who are not HIV positive, but at risk of HIV, to learn more about PrEP – a safe, effective, and affordable medication that prevents HIV. The Department's innovative PrEP and #SexualHealth campaigns are normalizing sexual health conversations, promoting positive sexual health behaviors, and empowering New Yorkers with education to seek sexual health care from their providers and discuss sexual health openly with their partners – all of which will promote good health outcomes."

The #SexualHealth campaign includes important sexual health topics and tips on how to talk openly with health care providers and current and future sexual partners regarding sexual health needs and care. As part of the campaign's outreach efforts, NYSDOH has established an ambassador program through which the Department works with community-based providers and organizations to identify ambassadors with experience in sexual health to expand education and the program's reach. The initiative includes a website and a publicly available toolkit inclusive of program ambassadors, social media messages, images, and videos related to the #SexualHealth campaign which New Yorkers are encouraged to access and share here.

The PrEP Awareness campaign promotes education about PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) – a medication that prevents HIV and promotes sexual health for New Yorkers who do not have HIV but are placed at risk. When a person takes PrEP as directed, it is 99% effective at preventing HIV. PrEP is one of the three main pillars in New York State's plan to End the AIDS Epidemic and ensuring equitable access to it is guiding state efforts through 2024 and beyond.

PrEP is safe and has little to no side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two PrEP medications which are taken by mouth and recently approved an injectable regimen. New Yorkers can consult with their doctor or find a PrEP provider here. New Yorkers should work with a PrEP provider or their health care provider to determine which medication is best for them.

There are many options for covering the costs of PrEP, making it accessible for all. The cost of PrEP includes the cost of medication, medical appointments, and lab tests. Medicaid and most health insurance plans cover all the costs for PrEP, without co-pays or cost-sharing. Drug manufacturers offer assistance and NYSDOH offers a PrEP Assistance Program (PrEP-AP).

New Yorkers can learn more and participate in the #SexualHealth campaign by downloading the toolkit here.

New Yorkers can learn more about PrEP, the PrEP Awareness Campaign, the PrEP Assistance Program (PrEP-AP), and find a PrEP provider here.

For questions about the #SexualHealth campaign, contact us at