Friday, February 12, 2016

No New HIV Infections in San Francisco Community PrEP Clinic

By Emily Newman

December 17, 2015

Steve Gibson, M.S.W. (Credit: Liz Highleyman)
Steve Gibson, M.S.W. (Credit: Liz Highleyman)
A trailblazing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation sexual health center Magnet was lauded at the 2015 HIV Prevention Conference. The PrEP health program began as a pilot program in November, 2014 and will continue to expand when it moves into a new health and wellness center, Strut, in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. In early December, Magnet director Steve Gibson, M.S.W., shared lessons learned about the PrEP health program -- which has seen no new HIV infections -- at the conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
With an increasing number of community and health groups interested in scaling up PrEP access programs, practitioners across the country had the opportunity to learn about Magnet's model of care and how the center has been able to successfully enroll and retain people in the program.
The program started in November 2014 as a pilot program for people at risk of HIV but has expanded into a full-fledged PrEP health program with almost 700 men screened. PrEP is a method by which HIV-negative people can take a daily pill to prevent HIV infection.
"It was great to share our success at launching a nurse-led PrEP program showing that community-based organizations can, and need to, offer PrEP services for their clients," said Gibson.
Some of the results presented at the conference appear below.
Who's enrolling in the PrEP Program?
A total of 695 people have been screened for PrEP interest and eligibility with 90% enrolling in the program. The mean age of enrolled participants is 34 years with an age range of 18 to 71. Participants reported an average of 18.5 sexual partners per year with the most common reason for initiating PrEP being condomless sex (91%) followed by having an HIV-positive partner (12%). San Francisco AIDS Foundation recently opened a PrEP clinic at their main office located between the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods of San Francisco which will increase access to PrEP services for transgender women and non-gay identified men who have sex with men.
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