Pharma Funds Planned Parenthood HIV Program. 5/11/2017
Published by MEDSCAPE
Planned Parenthood is in the crosshairs of federal plans to defund it, but the nonprofit has new partners and plans to expand care.
A grant from Gilead Sciences will help fund HIV prevention efforts, including awareness about pre-exposure prophylaxis. The company manufactures Truvada, the prominent PrEP combination of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine.
This is the first significant corporate grant of its kind for Planned Parenthood.
It will fund a multiphase pilot program to expand HIV prevention and education efforts at 11 Planned Parenthood affiliates over 18 months, said Raegan McDonald-Mosley, MD, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood.
"The bottom line is that we have the tools to get rid of HIV, but we have to continue to fight and hold the line," Dr McDonald-Mosley said during a plenary talk here at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) 2017 meeting.
"Black women are more than 20 times more likely to acquire HIV in their lifetime than white women in the United States, and Hispanic women are more than four times more likely," she reported.
Women at Risk
"However, many programs that focus on HIV prevention are not addressing the needs of women. We aim to fill some of this gap," she explained.
"The Planned Parenthood affiliate covering Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota entered the project providing no PrEP services at all. But in just 3 months, PrEP was rolled out at 19 of the health centers across three states," she reported.
"Their staff was very surprised by the unmet need for PrEP that they are now seeing," Dr McDonald-Mosley noted.
As part of the initiative, Planned Parenthood is also partnering with the Black AIDS Institute to expand resources in black communities that have been hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A report on the mobilization of the initiative and the outcomes will ultimately be published.
Another change underway is a notable addition to Planned Parenthood's patient population — men.
Growing Patient Demographic of Men
"The patient demographic that is growing the most rapidly right now in our health centers is men, making up more than 10% of our patient base," said Dr McDonald-Mosley.
Transgender individuals are also an increasing segment of the patient population, because they can seek health services that might not otherwise be available.
In 2015, Planned Parenthood centers saw 2.4 million patients, provided more than 4.2 million tests for sexually transmitted infection, including HIV screenings, provided more than 320,000 breast exams and 295,000 Pap tests, and provided birth control to nearly 2.0 million women, Dr McDonald-Mosley reported.