Advancing the HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Continuum: A Collaboration Between a Public Health Department and a Federally Qualified Health Center in the Southern United States.
Uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been limited among black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM), especially in the southern United States. Public health departments and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) serving predominantly uninsured populations are uniquely positioned to improve access. We evaluated a novel PrEP collaboration between a public health department and an FQHC in North Carolina (NC). In May 2015, a PrEP program was initiated that included no-cost HIV/sexually transmitted infection screening at a public health department, followed by referral to a colocated FQHC for PrEP services. We profiled the PrEP continuum for patients entering the program until February 2018. PrEP initiators and noninitiators were compared using Wilcoxon rank-sum test for continuous variables and chi-square or Fisher's exact tests for categorical variables. Of 196 patients referred to the FQHC, 60% attended an initial appointment, 43% filled a prescription, 38% persisted in care for >3 months, and 30% reported >90% adherence at follow-up. Among those presenting for initial appointments (n = 117), most were MSM (n = 95, 81%) and black (n = 62, 53%); 21 (18%) were Latinx and 9 (8%) were trans persons. Almost half (n = 55) were uninsured. We found statistically significant differences between PrEP initiators versus noninitiators based on race/ethnicity (p = 0.02), insurance status (p = 0.05), and history of sex work (p = 0.05). In conclusion, this collaborative model of PrEP care was able to reach predominantly black and Latino MSM in the southern United States. Although sustainable, program strategies to improve steps along the PrEP care continuum are vital in this population.
Clement, ME; Johnston, BE; Eagle, C; Taylor, D; Rosengren, AL; Goldstein, BA; Seña, AC
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