Rapid Start PrEP
Last month, the Prevention and Clinical teams at the Project launched “Rapid Start PrEP,” an easy way to start your journey to preventing HIV. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medication treatment that when taken as directed can prevent HIV by about 99%. It is the single most effective intervention for preventing HIV for people who are HIV-negative.
Patients who schedule a visit for testing at the Project will meet with a Prevention Specialist for HIV and STI screening. If the HIV result is non-reactive, the Prevention Specialist will work with the front desk and clinic team to get you a same-day appointment. Patients who request a same-day appointment may expect to wait 45-60 minutes to see a provider. If this is too long of a wait time, we can work with your schedule to get you in as soon as possible.
In April 2020, PHC’s University Medical Clinic will transition to walk-in appointments. Patients wishing to see a provider on the same day as their Prevention screening will be placed on the walk-in schedule.
Meet with a PrEP provider
Once you’re scheduled, you’ll be asked to provide insurance and payment information if you have not yet been seen as a patient at Primary Health Care. Your Prevention Team can assist you with your questions about how to pay for your medical visits and the PrEP medication.
Most insurance will cover a majority of the medication’s cost; Medicaid covers it completely. For people with private insurance, the manufacturer’s copay card will cover most of the rest of the cost. For people without insurance, we can help you apply for the Gilead Patient Assistance Program, or the Department of Health and Human Services’s “Ready, Set, PrEP” program.
During your visit, your provider will ask you some questions about your sexual health history and preferred sexual behaviors and cover the basics of PrEP, like how to take it daily, any potential concerns about side-effects, and answer any questions you may have. If everything is good to go, you’ll leave with a PrEP prescription which you can pick up that same day.
Rapid Start PrEP increases access
The Project is proud to offer Rapid Start PrEP as a way to help patients overcome access barriers. Patients who have difficulty accessing care or are at higher risk for acquiring HIV will especially benefit from these rapid-start services.
John Shaw, Prevention Services Manager, says “having the ability to provide rapid start PrEP to patients has been wildly successful. People’s schedules are very busy and asking people to return at a later date was always met with mixed results. Being able to provide PrEP during a Prevention visit has really helped in keeping people engaged in care.”
Primary Health Care’s Director of Operations, Nathan Simpson, agrees. “What I most proud about is the way that multiple departments collaborated to refine the same-day PrEP process to ensure the process worked successfully so our patients can enjoy safe, happy and healthy lives.”
Ready to start?
Schedule your appointment now, or call us at (515) 248-1595 if you have more questions before you make an appointment.