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Medscape: Decentralizing PrEP Offers a Roadmap for Retention

May 10, 2022 | Liz Scherer

Sarah Schmalzle, MD

Good solutions have great roadmaps.

For HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the road map might just be that of contraceptive care. Once an onerous process, over time contraceptive care exploded into a range of options across a broad landscape in terms of approach and accessibility.

How then do organizations help vulnerable patients navigate their PrEP journeys using the contraceptive roadmap as a guide?

That's what researchers at the University of Washington were intent on demonstrating, according to Julie Dombrowski, MD, MPH, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington School of Medicine and deputy director of the HIV/STD Program, Public Health for the city of Seattle and King County, Washington.
...

"This is really basic preventative care and is actually quite easy to do," noted Sarah Schmalzle, MD, assistant professor of medicine and medical director of the Thrive Program at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Schmalzle was not involved in the study.

Schmalzle practices in inner-city Baltimore, so she and her colleagues have been thorough in terms of setting up PrEP (and post-exposure prophylaxis, PEP) programs to ensure that patients access PrEP wherever they want to. But she also said that PrEP is only a part of the sexual wellness and prevention toolbox, and ideally, part of a whole prevention program.

"Focusing on how to get the prescription out is great but the rest is having ongoing and accurate sexual health conversations, healthy conversations about sex and prevention, to have [an] algorithm in place that says, 'here's your PrEP, this is the next time that you need an appointment, the next time you need labs, I'm going to check your adherence, etc.'‚ÄČ"

Read the full story

Contact

Vanessa McMains
Director, Media & Public Affairs
Institute of Human Virology
University of Maryland School of Medicine
443-875-6099
vmcmains@ihv.umaryland.edu

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