Mississippi has one of the highest rates of HIV in the United States, but has low pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake, particularly among black men who have sex with men (MSM) and women. From November 2018 to May 2019, patients at high risk of HIV who tested negative for HIV at a nonclinical testing center in Jackson, Mississippi, were referred to an on-site clinical pharmacist for same-day PrEP initiation. The pharmacist evaluated patients for medical contraindications to PrEP, but no baseline labs were obtained. The pharmacist provided a PrEP prescription and scheduled a clinical appointment for patients within 6 weeks, at which time they were evaluated by a clinician and completed baseline labs. The pharmacist evaluated 69 patients for PrEP; 57% were MSM, 77% were black, and 65% were uninsured. All patients received a PrEP prescription; 83% received the prescription the same day and 97% received it within 5 days. Fifty-three (77%) of 69 clients filled the prescription; 87% of whom filled it within 1 week. Only 23 (43%) of 53 clients who filled their prescription attended their initial clinical appointment within 6 weeks of obtaining PrEP. There were no differences in PrEP initiation or retention by patient sex/gender. This pilot program suggests that an on-site pharmacist working in a nonclinical testing center in the southern United States can successfully initiate PrEP among predominately low-income black MSM. Future efforts should seek to better integrate laboratory testing into this demedicalized model of PrEP and to improve retention in care.
- pre-exposure prophylaxis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases