Around 90% of men who have sex with men say they’re aware of the availability and purpose of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV transmission—and usage among that population rose five-fold (from 6% to 35%) between 2014 and 2017, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nonetheless, overall usage in terms of numbers remains relatively low, due in part to the reluctance of some healthcare providers to offer the necessary patient counseling, which is complex and can be time-consuming. According to the JUCM article Initiating PrEP Services in Urgent Care, that’s especially an issue in urgent care thanks to acute economic pressure to maintain patient flow at a rapid pace. Further, billing and coding can be nearly as complex as the regimen itself. Conversely, making the effort can pay off in increased patient traffic and the opportunity to build a broader, loyal customer base. As noted in the JUCM article, “providers may find both clinically important and profitable opportunities in providing PrEP services.” In addition to men who have sex with men, PrEP is indicated in uninfected sexual partners of HIV-infected people; heterosexual people with multiple sexual partners; and people who inject drugs.
Awareness and Usage of PrEP Are at an All-Time High. Should You Be Offering It?