The most successful urgent care centers, by definition, have found a way to set themselves apart from their competitors. Besides offering excellent care, many make the effort to find a niche that demonstrates a sound understanding of what patients in their area seek in an urgent care provider. Direct Urgent Care in San Francisco has done just that by starting to offer HIV prevention services, while Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care is considering doing to the same, according to a report in the Bay Area Reporter.
Direct Urgent Care began offering PEP, an HIV postexposure prophylaxis treatment meant to be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to the virus, last week and plans to start offering a second preventive treatment (PrEP) on March 1. Men and women seeking the treatment can be seen for a cost of $175, while the price of the drug depends on the patient’s insurance. It’s important to note that patients must test negative for HIV and receive counseling about the medication before they’re able to receive a prescription. Part of that counseling should include letting patients know that neither PEP nor PrEP prevents other sexually transmitted diseases. Direct Urgent Care opted to start offering PEP and PrEP in support of San Francisco’s Getting to Zero initiative, the goal of which is to cut incidence of new HIV infections in the city by 90% by 2020.