Amida Care, Gay City News Webinar Focuses on PrEP, COVID & Ending the AIDS Epidemic

Doug Wirth headshot
Doug Wirth, president and CEO of Amida Care.
Amida Care

A one-hour webinar on October 22 will explore the impact of the COVID epidemic on the efforts of public health officials and healthcare providers to encourage PrEP use among those at risk for HIV, and how the uptake of PrEP is affecting New York State’s campaign to end the epidemic.

The free webinar, which takes place from 1 to 2 p.m. next Thursday, is hosted by Amida Care and Gay City News. Pre-registration is required at

The event will bring together state and city health officials, managed care plan leaders, healthcare providers, and PrEP consumers.

Among the questions the webinar will explore are what barriers remain to PrEP use and compliance among those New Yorkers at greatest risk for HIV, how the onset of the coronavirus pandemic this past spring has affected the effort to promote PrEP use, what role the use of telemedicine during the COVID crisis has played, how primary care physicians can navigate conversations about PrEP and sexual health generally with their patients, and what other barriers remain in the effort to end the AIDS epidemic here in New York.

The webinar will begin with introductory remarks by Johanne Morne, director of the New York State Health Department’s AIDS Institute, created in 1983 to coordinate the state’s overall response to the HIV epidemic. Morne’s comments will be followed by remarks from Doug Wirth, president and CEO of Amida Care, whose Medicaid managed care Special Needs Health Plan is the state’s largest serving 8,000 New Yorkers living with HIV, as well as individuals at high risk for acquiring HIV, including transgender people and those experiencing homelessness.

Wirth will then join a panel discussion that also includes Dr. Anisha Gandhi, the acting assistant commissioner for the New York City Health Department’s Bureau of HIV, where she oversees the city’s response to the epidemic; Dr. David C. Collymore, chief medical officer of Acacia Network who provides clinical leadership to Acacia’s delivery of primary and specialty healthcare services, substance abuse services, mental health services, housing, day care, and economic development; Dr. Asa Radix, senior director of research and education at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, who has more than 20 years of experience providing primary care to LGBTQ people and is a recognized expert in transgender medicine; and Ahmed Mohamed, a PrEP consumer who is civic engagement and community organizer for the New Pride Agenda.

The webinar will focus specific attention on communities that currently are at greatest risk for HIV infection, including gay and bisexual men of color and transgender New Yorkers.

Gay City News will moderate the panel discussion.

This webinar is being held just days in advance of PrEP Aware Week, an annual initiative of the State Health Department to educate consumers from all communities as well as healthcare providers about the HIV prevention benefits of PrEP and how best to access this treatment.

For free registration for the October 22, 1 p.m. webinar, visit

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