A new telephone consultation service was launched earlier this month to provide free, expert advice to clinicians across the United States about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an important new HIV prevention tool. PrEP involves taking a daily pill containing two antiretroviral drugs as a way for HIV uninfected persons to prevent HIV infection.
The Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis consultation telephone service, or PrEPline , is staffed with an expert team of HIV providers—including physicians, nurses, and clinical pharmacists. These experts can assist clinicians who call in with the following: identifying patients for whom PrEP would (or would not) be appropriate, advising on the safe administration of PrEP, sharing information about protocols and best practices for laboratory evaluations, follow-up, and adherence; and outlining additional prevention strategies that can be employed to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition.
The PrEPline is a service of the Clinician Consultation Center (CCC) is part of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) Program . The new PrEPline was made possible through supplemental funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to this HRSA program that provides education and training to clinicians nationally.
As the Center observed in announcing the launch of the PrEPline, this new service for clinicians helps advance the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s first goal of reducing new HIV infections by making state-of-the-art information and consultation on prevention available to providers across the country.
PrEP is a single pill, two-drug combination of the antiretroviral drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine, taken daily to prevent HIV infection in adults at high risk of acquiring HIV. “Many of the clinicians prescribing PrEP will have had limited experience prescribing antiretroviral drugs,” shared Dr. Ron Goldschmidt , Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and Director of the CCC. “We will guide these clinicians as they work through decisions about who might benefit from PrEP and for whom it’s not advisable to prescribe PrEP, how to provide follow-up to ensure safe medication use, and protocols for averting and identifying new transmissions. Key to PrEP will be continually evaluating patients’ ability to adhere to a daily PrEP regimen, as missed doses can negate the benefits of PrEP.”