Integrating Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) into School-Based Health Centers
|Colorado||School-Based||Adolescent Health||Family & Youth Engagement, Health Equity, Access to Health Care/Insurance, Primary/Preventative Care, Service Coordination & Integration||NA|
In Colorado, youth ages 15-24 account for 20.1% of new HIV cases. In May 2018, the FDA approved a once-daily pill, Truvada, for use as an HIV prevention tool for adolescents. This medication is part of a strategy known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which works to prevent HIV before a potential exposure. This recent policy change creates potential for increased access to PrEP medications for youth in the United States. However, barriers to accessing PrEP persist for adolescents, including cost, transportation, confidentiality, and difficulty finding a provider willing to prescribe PrEP.
To address these gaps in care and better serve DSBHC patients, an innovative program was developed at Denver Health & Hospital Authority to integrate on-site PrEP care into DSBHCs and reduce barriers young people experience when trying to access this care. This innovative program in Denver, CO works to eliminate barriers, improve education, and increase access to PrEP for adolescents, regardless of insurance or ability to pay for services, in an urban school-based setting.