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​Public Health’s New PrEP Clinic Is Open 

4/6/2022

Mecklenburg County Public Health's (MCPH) PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) clinic located inside the Northwest Public Health Department location is now open, serving clients Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. by appointment only.

"The addition of this clinic is an opportunity for the County to address a common barrier that has stood between residents of this community and access to quality medical care," said Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio. 

Over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in the rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections within the community. It is estimated that 9,336 adults in Mecklenburg County have PrEP indications, and 1,262 of these individuals do not have health insurance. By offering extended hours at this clinic, Public Health can better serve individuals with busy schedules who may otherwise not have access to this service. 

"I am proud that Mecklenburg County Public Health is leading the effort to end HIV," said Dr. Raynard Washington, MCPH Director. "Our staff are working every day to find new and different ways to serve individuals living with HIV and those who are at risk for contracting the disease." 

This PrEP clinic is another tool for the County in addressing the HIV epidemic. Mecklenburg County Public Health offers free HIV and STI testing, at home HIV test kits and free treatment options and support. 


How to Access PrEP at MCPH 

    • Interested individuals should schedule an STI screening appointment and request a PrEP referral to initiate an appointment at the PrEP clinic. To schedule an STI screening call 704-336-6500.
    • MCPH will pay lab costs for uninsured/under-insured patients and will assist those patients with a medication assistance application to receive their PrEP prescription at no cost.
    • PrEP clients must return every 3 months for routine labs and screening. Prescriptions will only be issued for 3 months, so it is important to understand the commitment to return to follow up visits.
    • Clients can stop PrEP at any time. Just like any other medicine, it's important to communicate any side effects, changes in risk factor or other concerns with your medical provider.

 

About PrEP 

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a daily pill that can greatly reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. PrEP is one of the most effective methods of HIV infection prevention.

    • It reduces the risk of getting HIV from sharing needles by more than 70%.
    • Lower the risk of getting HIV from sex even more if PrEP is used with other prevention methods.
    • Clients must return every three months for an HIV test, prescription refill and additional testing for side-effects.
    • PrEP should only be used when it is prescribed by a doctor.


This effort supports the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners' FY22 priority investment area to reduce racial disparities in public health. More information about PrEP is available here. More information about HIV testing and treatment is available here


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