Increased access to an HIV prevention regimen ensures potential exposures are quickly addressed through greater access to treatment medications.
ROCHESTER, NY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed NYS Senate Bill Number S8129, approving pharmacists to dispense up to a seven-day emergency supply of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis or PEP, an HIV prevention therapy for individuals, who may have been exposed to HIV. Previously, the PEP regimen could only be administered through a prescription provided by a physician, hospital emergency room or primary care doctor, oftentimes delaying access to treatment.
The Pharmacy at Trillium Health’s locations in Rochester and Geneva are the first nonemergent facilities in New York State to offer the seven-day supply of PEP without a prescription from a primary care physician. Starting the medication immediately after a potential exposure to HIV is critical and Governor Cuomo’s order for PEP eliminates the need for an emergency room visit and increases the chances of remaining HIV negative. The Rochester-based pharmacy will be on-call for PEP 24/7 and available to anyone seeking treatment or access to care.
“We are expanding access to important HIV prevention therapies in a way that people are comfortable with. Knowing it’s a quick phone call to a Pharmacy and that they can gain access to the medication right away is important, especially when timing is of the essence. This also allows for time to connect them with an experienced provider to continue their PEP treatment” says Mark Malahosky, vice president of Pharmacy Services at Trillium Health. “This is one step closer to ending the HIV epidemic by 2020.”
This PEP policy supplements New York State’s existing End the HIV Epidemic initiative. The new PEP regulation focuses on decreasing the number of infections, expand access to PEP, strengthening consumer understanding and awareness, increasing referral and coordination with health professionals for follow-up to PEP and boost individual assessment for other HIV prevention measures.
About PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis): PEP is an emergency medication regimen for people who are HIV-negative who may have been exposed to HIV. PEP works best if started right away, up to 36 hours but not beyond 72 hours after a potential exposure to HIV. PEP is taken in pill form for 28 days, significantly increasing the chances of the person not becoming infected with the virus.
About HIV and AIDS: If not identified and treated early, HIV infection progresses and escalates to AIDS. Individuals, who are infected but not on treatment are more likely to transmit the virus. Nearly half of all new infections are from individuals with an unknown HIV status. Due to this, Gov. Andrew Cuomo devised a three-point plan to identify persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and to link them to care. Since 2010, New York State has required that health care providers offer HIV testing to all patients between ages 13 and 64 as a routine part of health care services.
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About Trillium Health
Trillium Health, a Federally-Qualified Health Center LAL (FQHC), located in downtown Rochester offers access to affordable health care for all regardless of ability to pay. Trillium Health affords patients evening and extended hours, on-site pharmacy & lab services, free parking and sliding fees based on income.
Trillium Health is proud to be nationally recognized for our outstanding patient-centered care. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) health care Equality Index has consistently recognized Trillium Health as a leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender affirming health care. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has recognized Trillium Health as a Patient-Centered Medical Home that provides quality care focused on patient needs.
Trillium Health is located at 259 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY. The location provides a bus stop at our front door, and free parking in back. Satellite offices are in Bath, Geneva, and on Central Avenue in Rochester. For more information, please call the main office at 585-545-7200, or visit our website at www.trilliumhealth.org.
Think you were exposed to HIV? Please call NOW at (585) 241-9000
Questions about HIV prevention? Please call (585) 454-PrEP (7737)