Exploring nurse-led HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in a community health care clinic

Public Health Nurs. 2020 Sep 29. doi: 10.1111/phn.12813. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) are 131 times more likely to acquire HIV compared with other Canadian men. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV has the potential to reduce or eliminate disparities in HIV acquisition among key affected populations. This paper aims to discuss the feasibility and utility of a nurse-led PrEP program administered by the Cool Aid Community Health Centre (CACHC) in Victoria, British Columbia as a public health PrEP program was initiated.

DESIGN, SAMPLE AND MEASUREMENTS: A retrospective chart review of 124 gbMSM patients accessing PrEP at CACHC in 2018 collected information on patient demographics, STI testing results, and PrEP prescription pick-ups at 3 time points.

RESULTS: Ninety-nine (79.8%) patients have continued on PrEP, as defined as having picked up their second 90-day PrEP prescription. Both older age and having an Sexually Transmitted Infection after PrEP enrolment were significantly associated with staying on PrEP; decreased risk perceptions contributed most to clinic-level discontinuance. Very few patients who stayed on PrEP have transitioned to their own General Practitioner.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients appear to recognize their risk and are continuing on PrEP to reduce their risk of HIV. As evidenced by ability to recruit and maintain patients, we conclude that nurse-led PrEP at community health centres supports access and uptake of essential health services to optimize individual and population health.

PMID:32996157 | DOI:10.1111/phn.12813