A new program offered by the Whiteside County Health Department/Whiteside County Community Health Clinic can help prevent HIV. The PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) Program prescribes Truvada, a FDA approved an anti-HIV medication.
Candidates for the program include those in monogamous relations with a person who is HIV positive, those who are not practicing monogamy or safe sex, and IV drug users.
“It’s proven to be over 90 percent effective in preventing HIV transmission,” said Community Health Clinic physician assistant Tammy Moran. “You take it every day, just like any other medication.”
“It’s recommended that once you get on Truvada you stay on it until you find yourself at a point in your life where it is no longer necessary to prevent you from acquiring HIV.” says Moran.
Truvada can be life-changing and life-saving, says Moran, who received training on prescribing PrEP at the Denver Prevention Training Center. Whiteside County Community Health Clinic has been offering Truvada for the last few months. If patients aren’t sure if they are a candidate or need more information, they should call and talk to the PrEP Case Manager at 815-626-2230 ext. 1232.
The initial appointment lasts about 45 minutes and includes a consultation, a brief physical exam and labs. Follow-up appointments with repeat labs are done every three months. “Our goal at the end of the day is to eliminate new HIV diagnoses. This medication is one tool in our arsenal to help make that happen,” added Moran
The Whiteside County Community Health Clinic honored World Aids Day by kicking off PrEP Awareness Month when they lighted a tree on December 1st at the Whiteside County Health Department.
Candidates to receive Truvada must be 18 years of age. The Community Health Clinic serves all patients no matter their payment source or ability to pay. Theresa Friel-Draper, Clinic Director states, “PrEP is one of a series of new progressive programs that the health center has recently started. Others include the Equality Clinic, a Transition Group for the Transgender population, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) training to treat trauma patients.”
Rock Falls Office:
1300 W. 2nd St.
Rock Falls, IL 61071