CONSORTIUM LAUNCHES PrEP NAVIGATION PROGRAM
The Delaware HIV Consortium is pleased to announce its new PrEP Navigation program. Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once a day pill that helps prevent HIV infection. This pilot program for PrEP Navigation is a collaboration of the Delaware Division of Public Heath, the Delaware HIV Consortium, and Planned Parenthood of Delaware, and is designed to help at-risk Delawareans to gain access to PrEP for the prevention of HIV infection. Thanks to two generous grants, the Consortium’s PrEP Navigation program will provide funding to help patients overcome the cost of required lab work.
The PrEP Navigation program features a Consortium staffer who will be embedded at Planned Parenthood (PPDE) on Shipley Street in Wilmington one day a week. The navigator will be available to assist both PPDE and non-patients. These services will only be provided at the PPDE Wilmington location to start, but are available for all Delawareans. Once the patient has a referral for PrEP from a primary care provider, along with a physician’s order for pre-prescribing lab work, the navigator will assist the patient in accessing both medication and diagnostic laboratory tests that are required before prescribing PrEP.
A major barrier to accessing PrEP is the cost of diagnostic lab work that must be completed before the patient receives a prescription for PrEP. Currently, all health plans cover the medication, but some plans have a deductible or co-pay for labs. If the patient’s deductible hasn’t been met, it could cost $400-$800 out of pocket for lab work. Thanks to a generous grant from the Laffey-McHugh Foundation and the WAWA Foundation, the Consortium will be helping cover the costs of diagnostic work for those enrolled in our PrEP Navigation program. This grant funded program will be able to assist approximately 300 patients, but when the funds are exhausted the assistance will end.
The navigator will also help patients enroll in a patient medication assistance program, which provides up to $7,200 assistance per year – enough to cover out of pocket costs for the first three months until deductibles are satisfied.
The PrEP Navigation program will also help patients steer through some questions they may have about insurance. For example, Medicaid and Medicare both cover PrEP and diagnostic work that is required. For those who may qualify for Medicaid, but are not enrolled, the navigator will assist in enrolling.
For more information about our PrEP Navigation program, go to www.delawarehiv.org. At the site, you will find many useful tools including prescribing information for providers, a list of PrEP prescribers in Delaware, a toolkit for patients who think they might want to take one pill daily to prevent HIV.
Getting those most at risk for HIV infection on PrEP is a high priority for the US Department of Health & Human Services and is part of the National HIV Strategies for ending the HIV epidemic. In June 2019, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended PrEP as a Grade A preventative service, so hopefully the diagnostic work required for PrEP will soon be mandated for coverage as “prevention” sometime in 2020. To join the PrEP Navigation program, call the Delaware HIV Consortium at 302-654-5471, or sign up at www.delawarehiv.org.
Walgreens stores in Delaware will be selling Red Ribbons from Tuesday, October 15 – 29 to raise funds in support of the Consortium’s services to people with HIV. When you check out, just make a donation of $1 or $5 and you’ll be helping support our services!
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