A program that provides pre-exposure prophylaxis to those at high risk of the infection is feasible and could help lower incidences, according to a study being presented at ID Week.
A pharmacist-led program that provides pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to populations at elevated risk of the HIV infection is feasible and could help lower incidences of the virus, according to a researchers from the University of New Mexico.
The full results of this 2-year study and how such a program works was being presented Friday, at the ID Week conference in San Francisco, California.
PrEP is an effective, proven option to prevent HIV transmission.
However, according to the researchers, the number of health care providers who prescribe PrEP is limited.
In an abstract released ahead of ID Week, researchers indicated that pharmacists are an underused resource and are able to provide PrEP services in many states.
One of the first pharmacy-run PrEP clinics was established in July 2015, according to the researchers.
Using clinic patients and data, the study sought to describe outcomes of this alternative model for preventing HIV transmission.
Electronic medical records were used to identify and review patients of the then-prospective PrEP clinic.
From its opening through July 2017, researchers examined pertinent information that included data related to patients’ laboratory information and medication, history of sexually transmitted infections, and risk factors for HIV acquisition. When available, data on partner HIV status and HAART regimen also was collected.
Adherence to the program was evaluated by missed doses of medication that were self-reported, and the compliance rate was derived from patients’ medication fill history.
During the study period, the PrEP clinic saw 136 patients attend a first appointment.
PrEP was started in 127 individuals with tenofovir/emtricitabine, which was well-tolerated, according to the researchers.
Overall, patients demonstrated a high adherence rate, with an average of <1 missed doses per month and a median compliance rate of 0.99. One patient discontinued the program, because of adverse effects.
Researchers found that a pharmacist-run PrEP clinic can be an effective alternative model for increasing patient access to preventive medications.
These providers also were able to promote a high level of adherence for the regimen.
Results of the study are scheduled to be presented during Friday’s Poster Abstract Session. ID Week is a national conference of health professionals in infectious diseases, including HIV.
Keenan R. Lewis J. Sanchez D. Anderson B. Mercier RC. The next step in PrEP: evaluating outcomes of a pharmacist-run HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) clinic. ID Week website. idsa.confex.com/idsa/2018/webprogram/Paper72194.html. Accessed October 1, 2018.