Iowa leads nation in rural HIV prevention with launch of TelePrEP Program

Iowa is now a national leader in rural HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, with the launch of TelePrEP, an innovative telehealth program.

PrEP — Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis — refers to a daily medication regimen which prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections for those without HIV who are at risk of contracting the virus. University of Iowa Health Care has been providing PrEP services to patients at the PrEP clinic in internal medicine at UI Health Care–Iowa River Landing. The new telehealth program combines secure video conferencing for in-home visits between patients and UI Health Care pharmacists and providers with medication delivery by mail to expand HIV prevention across the state of Iowa, especially in rural areas.

“We know that there are people in rural Iowa who are at risk for HIV. Approaches that work well for delivering PrEP in large cities don’t adapt to rural Iowa. We need to try different approaches such as this telehealth technology to make sure PrEP is available to those who need it, regardless of where they live,” said Michael Ohl, MD, a UI Health Care infectious disease specialist and medical director of the TelePrEP service.

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