For over 30 years, Care Resource has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, research and education in South Florida. While HIV testing and management remains a large part of our focus, we have made significant strides in championing the importance of HIV prevention.
In this regard, we are pleased to announce that Care Resource has begun to offer non-occupational Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) management services to eligible patients.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently.
PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone. But people who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every 3 months.
Care Resource provides pre-exposure prophylaxis to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection in adults at high risk. High risk individuals are identified as an individual (MSM or heterosexual individual) who is not HIV infected and has a partner(s) known to be HIV infected or an individual who engages in sexual activity within a high prevalence area or social network and one or more of the following:
- Adult men who have sex with men (MSM)
- Inconsistent or no condom use
- Diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Exchange of sex for commodities (such as money, food, shelter, or drugs)
- Use of illicit drugs or alcohol dependence
- Partner(s) of unknown HIV status with any of the factors listed above
Once identified, TRUVADA (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) will be prescribed to prevent the sexual acquisition of HIV infection. In combination with TRUVADA, a comprehensive prevention strategy will be utilized to prevent the sexual acquisition of HIV infection. This prevention strategy will include education about:
- Safer sex practices
- Consistent and correct use of condoms
- Knowledge of HIV status and that of their partner(s)
- Regular testing for other STIs that can facilitate HIV transmission (such as syphilis and gonorrhea)
- All uninfected individuals will be counseled by healthcare providers to strictly adhere to the recommended Truvada dosing schedule because the effectiveness of TRUVADA in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV is strongly correlated with adherence.
Other Care Resource services include:
- Rapid HIV and other STI testing and counseling
- Assessment of eligibility for PEP and PrEP
- Laboratory testing prior to initiation of PEP and PrEP
- Continuous monitoring/follow-up of patients on PEP/PrEP
- On-site 340B Walgreens pharmacy
- Access to free PEP/PrEP medications
- Insurance assistance to access any prescribed medications
- Assistance with accessing emergency medications through patient assistance programs for uninsured and underinsured patients
- Same day appointments
These new services are a much needed addition to the wide array of services that our health care offer. Please take a moment to discover the many services we provide by visiting our website at www.careresource.org or call us at 305-576-1234. At Care Resource, our commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS remains as strong as ever but as we aim to focus more intently on prevention, please allow us to assist you in managing your patients who are at high risk for acquiring HIV.
Jonathan Welsh – Tel: 305-576-1234 x 249
Marketing and Development Manager