Emily Comstock, Camilia James, Robert Hegarty, Yolanda Flores, Tracy Wilson, Rohit Talwani, Eleanor Wilson


Background: Acute HIV cases have doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic. We implemented a quality improvement (QI) project to standardize PrEP telehealth at a large metropolitan medical center in a HIV hotspot to ensure PrEP access and uptake. Methods: A 2-arm recruitment approach was implemented from August 31st, 2020-December 16th, 2020 targeting (1) patients through weekly social medial outreach and (2) providers in high-volume departments through educational in-services and dedicated chart reviews. Results: Provider referrals from the Emergency and Primary Care Departments increased 460% (p=0.03). PrEP users shifted to a majority <35 years old (n=12, 38.7%), but remained mostly Black (n=16, 51.5%) males (n=30, 96.8%). Conclusion: This QI project may have reduced PrEP discontinuation during the pandemic. The low percentage of PrEP users may be related to COVID-19 on clinic follow-up. The younger demographic shift may translate to a larger decrease in HIV transmission given the relative risk of different cohorts

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PrEP, COVID-19, HIV, telehealth, quality improvement Improving HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Uptake During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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