Family Planning Provider PrEP Toolkit

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for HIV prevention is highly effective and safe. PrEP works for women. The CDC estimates 468,000 U.S. women could benefit from PrEP. However, fewer Black women have been prescribed PrEP or know about PrEP than white women.

Forty percent of women access reproductive health care only, making family planning clinics a logical and efficient location for offering PrEP to women. Family planning providers are uniquely skilled to offer options within a shared decision making model. Women want to hear about PrEP from family planning providers. Prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, is a core part of providing quality family planning services.

PrEP services have been successfully implemented in a variety of family planning settings and in different ways. Even as additional training and infrastructure support are needed to fully implement PrEP in the family planning setting, PrEP clinic champions as well as PrEP user champions are emerging.

While this toolkit is focused on cisgender women, we understand that people of all genders and sexual preferences (including gay and bisexual men) receive care in family planning settings.

This Family Planning Provider PrEP Toolkit aims to support PrEP implementation based on existing tools and resources.

To access resources in the toolkit, please click on the plus sign in each of the banners below.

 

 

Getting Started

Are you a PrEP clinic champion? Would you like to be one? A PrEP clinic champion can lead the way to implement the necessary clinical and administrative protocols for smooth PrEP delivery. You can opt to offer PrEP in your clinic, or, if you are not ready or unable to provide PrEP, develop a strong referral network with local PrEP providers. You don’t have to do this alone!

Training for being a PrEP champion is available at no cost from:

There are also networks of PrEP champions out there who can help! Learning about supporting user demand and integrating consumer feedback can make your job easier. Check out the following resources to find people and ideas:

Talking About HIV and PrEP

HIV prevention counseling is best provided early and often. People who are getting HIV and STI tests are ideal candidates for HIV prevention messaging.

Consider adding brief questions like: “Did you know that there is a new HIV prevention method called PrEP? It’s a pill that you can take every day if you are HIV negative to prevent HIV.” This brief counseling can be done by a peer navigator, medical assistant, nurse, physician assistant or doctor.

Consider also a shared decision-making approach which focuses on women’s values and preferences – a way forward for supporting women as they balance competing priorities.

HIV Testing

Before prescribing PrEP, a point-of-care or laboratory-based HIV test is required (CDC discourages using the oral fluid test for HIV screening in PrEP use) as well as ruling out acute HIV if there is a recent exposure. Many family planning clinics routinely provide HIV testing.

Resources on HIV testing are available from:

PrEP Prescribing

Providers at family planning clinics can easily integrate PrEP prescribing in to their practice.  These providers can also serve as valued sources of information for women.

Resources on PrEP prescribing and developing provider networks are below.

PrEP Follow-up and Adherence

After a PrEP prescription has been filled, the next steps are follow-up and adherence. Quarterly follow up visits include STI testing, renal labs, and counseling around daily pill taking.

If you do not have capacity at your clinic to do follow-up and adherence counseling, consider being a screening and prescribing site and developing an “active handoff” protocol to a local provider.

Reimbursement (medical visit/s, tests, medication)

Developing reimbursement mechanisms and coverage for patient costs is an important part of a PrEP program’s sustainability plan.

Resources and tools to support the development of local and site-specific reimbursement plans are below.

Ancillary staff can support providers in the provision of PrEP. For example, a benefits or PrEP navigator can help in high-volume clinics to assure medication coverage, lab costs and paperwork are in order. Pharmacists can play an important role in working with the Gilead Medication Assistance Program. Another option for eligible clinics is to consider 340B pricing and medication reimbursement as a sustainability model.

Patient-specific reimbursement resources are available.

Operations

Developing a clinic flow for serving potential PrEP patients as well as longitudinal follow up includes staff at every level.

Resources to support PrEP programs at all levels within a clinic include:

Distinct Populations

There are distinct populations at risk for HIV who may benefit from PrEP, including pregnant and postpartum women, gay and bisexual men, youth, transgender persons, people who inject drugs, and people who exchange sex for drugs, money, or shelter. PrEP implementation for distinct populations is emerging.

Some current resources for working with these distinct populations include:

 *As specific tools for people who are substance involved or people who exchange sex are developed, we will add them here.

Disparities

Black women in the U.S. are seventeen times more likely to acquire HIV during their lifetimes than White women and have 1 in 54 lifetime risk of acquiring HIV. However, fewer Black women have been prescribed PrEP or know about PrEP (Seidman, R4P 2016) than White women. In a study looking at Black women’s experiences in obtaining family planning services, many reported experiencing race-based discrimination in interactions with providers. In another study, Black women and other women of color reported feeling very uncomfortable discussing their condom use with their family planning providers. In focus groups with majority Black women conducted nationwide about PrEP knowledge, it was found that many women expressed feeling upset, frustrated and angry that they had not learned about PrEP as an HIV prevention option.

While there are not yet proven interventions to improve Black women’s access to PrEP, women’s health clinicians can apply lessons learned from contraceptive care such as:

  •      Use best practices from contraceptive counseling to mitigate disparities. Consider shared decision making – a model that focuses on women’s values and preferences – a way forward for supporting women as they balance competing priorities
  •      Include race and ethnicity when monitoring your program
  •      Hire clinicians and staff who reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of your clients
  •      Use client materials that reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of your clients. You can check out these campaigns for ideas and resources: PrEP4Love, PrEPforHer, Black Women’s Health Imperative’s #LetsTalkAboutPrEP

 

 

 

This toolkit was created in part with support from GetSFCBA. For more information, please click here: http://getsfcba.org/