Patients don't want PrEP,
they want peace of mind.
Last week I attended the annual Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit in Houston. While we've certainly made progress in preventing new HIV infections, it's clear we have a long, long way to go.
When revisiting the presentations I attended, one theme really popped out: patients want peace of mind. Seeking out PrEP gives most patients a lot of anxiety, and it's crucial that we work to lower that. For many patients, PrEP medications are a tool to lower the fear and shame around sex.
I can attest to this from personal experience. The fear of HIV just because of my sexual orientation was sometimes crippling, and kept me from addressing other health issues. PrEP put me in control of my sexual wellness and changed my life.
The Digitalization of Healthcare
Today's new health brands, like Roman and Hims, are designed to reduce the barriers for patients seeking therapeutics. By all accounts, they do a pretty great job.
However, it is clear that their business model is predicated on disintermediating existing urology and dermatology practices and having providers work under their brand name.
In the building of these health brands, the patient and provider have been commoditized, and comprehensive care has taken a back seat to a la carte telehealth.
Today in sexual health, the skills perfected over decades of combating the HIV epidemic are under threat by a one-size-fits-all model.
Patients deserve culturally humble care, and that requires more than an app.
The Right Response
I have no doubt that we have the capacity to respond to our current sexual health crisis, but current providers don't have the best tools to operate efficiently.
From its inception, Kalamos Care was always meant to enhance existing infrastructure.
We help patients track refills and schedule labs proactively. We provide lubes and condom samples to reduce follow up visits for other infections. Most importantly, we reaffirm sexually healthy choices and empower patients.
Sometimes McDonald's delivered by Uber hits the spot, but we've got enough McDonald's. GrubHub enables great local restaurants to serve exponentially more customers.
Kalamos can unlock and optimize the existing capacity at local clinics, allowing us to better address the current sexual health crisis. We want to work with any sexual health provider to grow their business and make their patients even healthier.
Patients want peace of mind. Go one step further and give them pride by partnering with Kalamos.
Why is talking about sexual health important?
Sexual health is health. If knowing your patient is important, there's no better way to get to know them than to understand their intimate behavior. Sexual history is often a syndemic indicator, so if you really want to provide comprehensive care, it's time to start talking about sex.
We fully acknowledge that talking about sex can be awkward for you, and know that it's probably at least as awkward for you patient. Try to remember to use reaffirming language, have receptive body posture, and be open to a wide range of behaviors.
If your patient is sexually active, it's a good idea to screen them for HIV and other STIs. It's important to note that patients can get not only genital infections, but also pharyngeal and rectal infections. Additionally, consider talking to your sexually active patients about PrEP.
What is PrEP?
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It's a medication regimen to prevent infection in the event of exposure. The FDA has approved PrEP for HIV prevention. Truvada, a combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir, is the only drug currently approved for PrEP, but more are expected shortly.
Truvada 92-99% effective at preventing HIV when taken properly. Before prescribing, it's important to discuss that Truvada does not protect against other STIs and that other safer sex practices should be used in tandem.
Your patient wants PrEP. What next?
That's great news! Every patient protected from HIV is one step closer to ending the epidemic. When starting a patient on PrEP, you'll need to screen at-minimum for HIV, kidney function, and Hep B.
Don't let financial barriers put your patient at risk for HIV. Here are the possible ICD-10 codes to use:
- Z20.6 Contact with and (suspected) exposure to HIV
- Z20.2 Contact with and (suspected) exposure to infections with a predominantly sexual mode of transmission
- Z11.3 Encounter for screening for infections with a predominantly sexual mode of transmission
- Z11.4 Encounter for screening for human immunodeficiency virus
- Z11.59 Encounter for screening for other viral diseases
- Z20.5 Contact with and (suspected) exposure to viral hepatitis
- Z71.7 Encounter for HIV counseling
Maximize patient satisfaction and increase your volume by adding self-collection screenings.
You manage your patients' care. We'll handle the logistics.
Interested in EMR integration?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org