ACT UP Protests Mt. Sinai’s Denial of PEP Therapy

Members of ACT UP protested outside of Mt. Sinai Medical Center after a gay man who had recently had unsafe sex visited the emergency department there and had difficulty getting a regimen of anti-HIV drugs that can prevent infection with the virus.

‘These people are not given care,” said Jim Eigo, a member the AIDS activist group, during the July 17 protest at the Upper East Side hospital. “It’s such a wasted opportunity.”

On July 5, the man arrived at a Mt. Sinai clinic after having unsafe sex. With the clinic closed for the holiday weekend, he was referred to the hospital’s emergency department where he was told that there is no such thing as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). The man was asked to leave the hospital.

The man had initially called ACT UP, which referred him to Mt. Sinai.

AIDS activists see wider problem in lack of awareness, promotion of pre-, post-HIV exposure interventions

When he was refused PEP, an ACT UP member contacted a relative who is a senior medical staffer at the hospital, who intervened, and the man was given PEP. In a July 17 statement that the hospital issued in response to the ACT UP protest, the man thanked Mt. Sinai and said, “At the ER after the initial confusion over talking to the right person