HIV infection remains a serious public health concern, especially in young people, blacks, and men who have sex with men (MSM). In fact, a recent study from the CDC demonstrates that 1 in 2 black MSM and 1 in 4 Latino MSM will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetimes. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a method approved by the FDA and shown to be highly effective in preventing HIV transmission. PrEP entails giving Truvada® (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) once daily to persons at high risk for acquiring HIV. Unfortunately, there is lack of awareness about PrEP and so uptake has been slow.
Our DIHI-funded project, “A Three-Pronged Approach to Reducing HIV Transmission through Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)” is a novel strategy to maximizing PrEP usage and minimizing HIV transmission. First, we are establishing a dedicated PrEP clinic at Duke, and collaborating with DIHI to promote and market this clinic. We are, secondly, educating primary care providers by performing on-site trainings at PCP offices and developing an online toolkit to increase provider knowledge and comfort level with prescribing PrEP. Thirdly, we are engaging in community outreach by partnering with community based organizations and the Durham County Department of Public Health to reach persons at high risk and raise awareness about PrEP. Through this high impact public health intervention, we anticipate enhancement of community relationships as we prevent new HIV infections in our community.