Raising awareness of availability of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) through direct pharmacy access: “ipepcare” video
PEP is recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services in cases of a high risk exposure to HIV. Using pharmacies as venues to provide PEP to high risk groups such as injection drug users is feasible given the success of the New York State Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP), which allows pharmacies to sell syringes without a prescription to help reduce the spread of HIV among IDUs. Thus, ESAP pharmacies are well-positioned to expand their services to include other HIV prevention strategies such as PEP.
The iPEPcare video focuses on HIV risk reduction, PEP information, direct pharmacy access, and the importance of HIV testing as a normative comprehensive screening service that everyone should undergo routinely. The video showcases high risk HIV exposure scenarios (i.e., unsafe syringe sharing, unprotected sex) in which individuals return to the study pharmacy to request PEP medications. The video script and final cut were reviewed by community partners, and professional and academic stakeholders including researchers, pharmacists, community-based organization representatives, NYS Department of Health professionals, and physicians who had substantial experience working with IDUs and/or HIV positive populations.
Efforts were taken to ensure the message was translatable to low literacy populations and filmed in both English and Spanish. It was also pilot tested in both English and Spanish in focus groups composed of members from our target population.
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Identify HIV testing as part of good general health practice Recognize scenarios in which unplanned HIV exposure may occur Recognize PEP as an HIV prevention method for unplanned HIV exposure Identify locations for access to PEP medications
Keyword(s): Prevention, HIV/AIDS
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the research coordinator on many federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of injection drug abuse and HIV prevention and treatment. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for increasing HIV testing uptake and HIV prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.