The HIV Prevention Medication PrEP is now offered in Orange County
April 17, 2018
In an effort to eliminate HIV infections, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) is now offering Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication.
DOH-Orange’s Area 7 and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) programs have worked to offer PrEP and supporting STD services. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of getting HIV by more than 90 percent. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%. Persons taking PrEP should also continue to use other proven prevention strategies, including condoms and safer sexual practices.
“DOH-Orange is excited to now offer PrEP in the community to reduce the risk of transmission of the HIV virus,” said Dr. Kevin Sherin, DOH-Orange Health Officer. “PrEP is a cutting edge, evidence based practice for HIV transmission prevention.”
Initially, patients requesting PrEP services are evaluated clinically and, if indicated, are able to receive immediate access to PrEP medications. Consideration is then given to every patient based on their eligibility requirements, which includes their financial status and assisting them with access to PrEP services.
Although the prescription is free, the comprehensive evaluation does have a fee. A sliding fee scale has been established and is based on income eligibility.
Evaluation services include client education, HIV testing, HCV testing, liver function test and the prescription of PrEP medications. There is a 3-month follow up after PrEP initiation to assess and monitor an individual’s HIV status, adherence to PrEP medication, need to continue PrEP, review of side effects and education on prevention behaviors such as safer sex and condom use.
DOH-Orange is one of many county health departments in Florida that is providing PrEP as part of strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida. The department’s goal is for all 67 county health departments to implement PrEP services through STD and or Family Planning clinics by the end 2018.
If you are sexually active, PrEP may be an option for you. Speak to your medical provider. For further information on the PrEP services offered by DOH-Orange, call the STD Clinic at 407-723-4170 or visit the DOH-Orange’s STD Clinic at 832 W. Central Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32805.
For other PrEP locations in Central Florida, please visit https://preplocator.org/.