Case Study

Responding to Sexual Assault: HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

Tags: Health

Alachua County, Fla.

Alachua County’s Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center provides counseling and advocacy services to crime victims. Victims of sexual assault are at risk of exposure to HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS). Prophylactic (preventative) treatment for HIV is possible, though it must begin within 72 hours of exposure at an expense exceeding $2,000, a significant burden for the uninsured. Prescription Assistance Programs (PAP’s) often do not start quickly. A partnership between a local hospital, pharmacy, and Alachua County provides access to the necessary medication. The hospital provides an initial dose to the patient and a 30-day prescription via the emergency department. A local pharmacy pre-screens applicants for the PAP, and provides two additional days of treatment while the PAP application is processed. Upon approval, the pharmacy provides the remaining supply of needed medication. Prior to 2015, Alachua County assisted an average of four victims a year with HIV – PEP. Today, the County assists over 40 victims a year. The Centers for Disease Control estimates the lifetime treatment costs for those with HIV infection exceeds $379,000. Serving about 48 people in 2016, the Alachua County HIV-PEP collaborative averted medical expenses in excess of $18,000,000.

Contact: 
Ms. Laura Kalt 
Division Director

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