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Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Launch TelePrEP Program

Dec 15 2022

PHILADELPHIA, December 13, 2022 -- Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), in collaboration with Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, will implement its first-ever TelePrEP Program. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is medication taken to reduce the risk of getting HIV. This free program is designed to make getting PrEP as easy as possible by helping people obtain PrEP through the convenience of tele-health. It will be operated through Philly Keep on Loving, PDPH's online sexual wellness platform. This website allows Philadelphians to access free sexual wellness products, including condoms, lubricants, and at-home HIV and STI test kits. The program launched in October 2022. Dr. Kathleen Brady, Director of the AIDS Activity Coordinating office, described the program as "first of its kind in the region and a true opportunity to bring PrEP to people where they live."

The Philadelphia TelePrEP Program was designed to be a part of PDPH's Ending the HIV Epidemic Plan under strategy 3 -- prevention. Under this strategy, the program aims to increase access and convenience to obtain PrEP for everyone, especially among underserved and uninsured populations. The goal is to create more opportunities for people to take control of their health and address the gap between the number of people who would most likely benefit from being on PrEP and the number of people who are taking it among priority populations (men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, at-risk heterosexual men, and transgender women).

The program will allow community members to begin their PrEP journey on the Philly Keep on Loving website by connecting with a Navigator or directly scheduling a telehealth appointment themselves. From there, they will be contacted by a representative from Einstein Philadelphia to have a lab kit sent to their home. When both the telehealth visits and labs are completed, the client will be prescribed PrEP, and the medication can be delivered directly to their home or sent to a pharmacy they prefer. This program will also provide access to injectable PrEP at Einstein's Community Practice Center on the Einstein Philadelphia campus. The program will be open to any Philadelphia resident over age 16, regardless of insurance status.

"We are excited about our partnership with the city to be the TelePrEP provider for the residents of Philadelphia," says Hussein Safa, MD, Medical Director of the TelePrEP Program and Einstein's Pride Program. "The mission of our TelePrEP Program is to be a completely accessible service for every single person in Philadelphia, which means low-barrier access to PrEP in an affirming and culturally competent way giving patients a choice and control over their sexual well-being. This service is crucial to ending the HIV epidemic and curbing rising STIs. It will hopefully help many people start PrEP, lower their risk of acquiring HIV, and receive regular STI screening when they otherwise would not have been able to through brick-and-mortar settings," Dr. Safa adds.

For more information on this program, contact Naomi Correa at 267-838-6007 or naomi.correa@jefferson.edu or visit PhillyKeeponLoving.com.

About Einstein Healthcare Network

Einstein Healthcare Network, now a part of Jefferson Health, is a healthcare system with approximately 1,000 beds and more than 8,700 employees serving the communities of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, Pa. The Network is made up of three acute care hospitals including Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, the largest independent academic medical center in the Philadelphia region training over 3,500 health professional students each year with more than 450 residents and fellows in over 35 accredited programs; Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park; and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery. The Network also includes MossRehab, consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top rehabilitation hospital in the nation; Willowcrest, named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best nursing homes for short-term rehabilitation care in Philadelphia; outpatient care centers; and a network of more than 900 primary care physicians and specialists throughout the region. For more information, visit www.einstein.edu or call 1-800-EINSTEIN.


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