Walgreens Healthcare Clinics Prescribe Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention

PrEP has been found to be effective in preventing HIV in high-risk populations.

Providers at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics in 17 new markets can now prescribe pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Following the initial PrEP consultation, clinic providers can test for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to a press release. After reviewing the test results, providers will conduct a follow-up visit and may prescribe PrEP, as necessary.

PrEP is a daily medication designed to prevent HIV infection in high-risk individuals. According to the CDC, appropriate use of PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV from sex by more than 90%, and more than 70% among injection drug users.

“In late April, we began prescribing PrEP at our Walgreens Healthcare Clinic locations in the Houston area,” Pat Carroll, MD, chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics, said in a release. “Over the past few months, local AIDS organizations across the Houston area have referred patients to our clinics. In addition, our patients in Houston have commended us for giving them an easy option to learn more about PrEP and, if applicable, after a consultation, to get a prescription from one of our providers.”

Several Walgreens Healthcare Clinic locations also began offering evaluation and testing in late April for STIs, including HIV, hepatitis B and C virus, chlamydia, gonorrhea, as well as treatment and counseling and referral.

The new markets include Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, OH; Dallas; Denver; Kansas City, Knoxville; Las Vegas; Louisville; Memphis; Nashville; Orlando; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Tucson; Washington, DC; and Wichita.

“As we continue to help improve the comprehensive health and wellbeing of our patients, while also supporting communities across the nation that are impacted by HIV, we are looking forward to rolling out our prevention initiative more broadly,” Dr Carroll said.

In the United States, an estimated 1.1 million individuals are living with HIV, with 1 of 7 unaware of their status, according to the release. Men who have sex with men (MSM) and bisexual men—–particularly young African Americans––have the highest incidence of HIV.