A medical student brings PrEP (pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis) to Belle Glade, FL

01-31-2019 22:54

A fourth year medical student in Florida collaborated with an Infectious Diseases doctor from an academic center in the Northeast and a local Family Medicine doctor to bring knowledge and awareness about PrEP (pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis) to Belle Glade, FL. TDF/FTC, or Truvada™, taken as PrEP is a daily medication that significantly reduces the chances of acquiring HIV. This medication, along with a counseling and monitoring program, was approved by the FDA in 2012 and is a powerful tool to help decrease the spread of HIV in the US. A fourth year medical student at FAU interested in Family Medicine identified and partnered with a PrEP subject matter expert at the University of Pennsylvania who agreed to help design a curriculum specific to Belle Glade, an epicenter of HIV infection in the 1980’s with a predominantly heterosexual pattern of HIV transmission. The medical student attended several PrEP lectures given by the subject matter expert, as well as participated in one-to-one training, in order to become trained on the PrEP program. A Florida-based Family Medicine doctor with ties to Belle Glade helped the medical student attain IRB approval for PrEP training to the Family Medicine residents at Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade. The medical student gave a two-hour training course on PrEP with the Family Medicine doctor present to answer clinical questions on PrEP. The lecture was given during the residents’ regularly scheduled didactics session with pre- and post-session surveys to assess knowledge gained. Of the 12 residents who attended the lecture and filled out both a pre- and post-session survey, 80% indicated an increase in their knowledge on PrEP and their comfort level in prescribing and monitoring it. Of those 10 people, most indicated an increase in knowledge of 25-50%, with 3 people indicating an increase in knowledge of 75-100%. Additional PrEP lectures will be given at a Florida Department of Health preventive medicine seminar as well as to medical personnel at the FAU Student Health Clinic. In order to make the PrEP educational program sustainable, the graduating fourth year medical student will train a rising fourth year medical student on PrEP. Engaging medical students in training local and regional clinical staff on PrEP could be a powerful tool to increase the reach of established education and training organizations, and further efforts to scale up domestic HIV prevention efforts in the US.

Author(s):Joanna Drowos, DO, MPH, MBA; Michael Gabriel
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Uploaded - 01-31-2019
Presented at STFM MSE 2019

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