Celebrating One Year of the PrEP Clinic. L to R: Medical Assistant Aaron Reyes, Health Educator-Counselor Kendra Coleman, Nurse Practitioner and CHC CEO Mary Maragos, and Health Educator-Counselor Gloria Flores.
It was one year ago that the staffs of the Will County Health Department’s Community Health Center (CHC) and Family Health Services HIV and STD program came together to offer the PrEP Clinic, once at week at the CHC Care Clinic.
PrEP stands for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis,” with the last word meaning “action taken to prevent disease.” Treatment at the PrEP Clinic includes a daily pill, Truvada, to be taken for the purpose of reducing the risk of HIV. The treatment also includes very specific follow-up visits for HIV testing.
“During the first year, we saw approximately 30 patients a month during our 11 AM to 4 PM weekly clinics on Thursdays, which works out to more than 360 visits for the entire year,” said Health Department HIV and STD program specialist Kendra Coleman. “Currently, we have 30 active PrEP patients, and they average five to six visits per year. While PrEP is our primary function, we also see patients seeking STD screenings, and treatment as potential PrEP candidates. And while PrEP is for HIV-negative patients, we also link newly diagnosed HIV-positive patients into care, through our referral process.
The PrEP clinic is now taking appointments up until 4 PM (previously the last appointment was taken at 3:30), with the hours continuing to be 11 AM to 4 PM on Thursdays. The number to call is 815-727-8830.