Stemming the Tide: Getting More Providers Involved in PrEP Counseling to Reduce HIV Infections

stemming the tide getting more providers involved in prep counseling to reduce hiv infections

Sumary of Stemming the Tide: Getting More Providers Involved in PrEP Counseling to Reduce HIV Infections:

  • The city of Bridgeport, CT, has seen a great reduction in HIV incidence rates and one of its medical centers, The Southwest Community Health Center, has been steeped in HIV care and prevention with its adoption of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and its PrEP counseling services.
  • The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan areas reported 83 new cases of HIV per 100,000 people in 2016, and saw a decrease in new cases with just 41 people being diagnosed in 2019. This reduction has been the greatest in a metropolitan American city being studied, according to AIDSVu.
  • HIV treatment specialist Gary Spinner, DMSc, PA, MPH, AAHIVS, is the medical director of the HIV/AIDS Program, and leads the Southwest Center’s initiatives on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
  • Spinner makes the distinction about access and how it falls differently along racial lines.
  • He says that although the majority of the patients he sees are Black or Latinx, more White patients are initiating PrEP.
  • Underutilization of PrEP has been a major issue, and Spinner says he would like to see more primary care providers engaging in conversations with patients about their sexual health.
  • In many medical settings, there might be just 1 PrEP prescriber, which means there are lost opportunities to engage many more patients in counseling on this form of HIV prevention, according to Spinner.
  • At Spinner’s center, they not only have a PrEP navigator to help with these conversations and get the right candidates into the treatment funnel, but there are providers across specialities at Southwest who are having PrEP conversations with patients and prescribing the therapy as well.

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