PleasePrEPMe.org recently announced PleasePrEPMe — the expanded online service that assists Californians with understanding and finding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) services. While this online tool was developed to connect Californians with services, it’s being expanded to include resource pages for all 50 states.
PleasePrEPMe.org initially launched in 2015 as the Bay Area PrEP Provider Directory to identify PrEP-friendly providers and provide easier access for consumers. With a grant from the California Department of Health, PleasePrEPMe.org will expand the original site to include an online chat as well as provide navigation assistance by phone, text, and email in English and in Spanish.
Although additional strategies are in clinical study, currently PrEP is taken as a daily pill by HIV-negative individuals at risk for the virus. The State Department of Health estimates that between 221,528 and 238,628 Californians are eligible for PrEP, though far fewer than that are currently using this medical intervention. In contrast to these figures nationally, only 80,000 prescriptions have been written since the FDA approval in July 2012.
“Three key program components provide PleasePrEPMe an opportunity to reach insured, underinsured and uninsured Californians who are at risk for HIV,” stated Shannon Weber, Founder of PleasePrEPMe. “PleasePrEPMe helps Californians find PrEP/PEP services in their area through chat, text and telephone with experienced navigators. PleasePrEPMe allows users to search for providers in their areas on their own, in collaboration with PrEPLocator.org. Lastly, PleasePrEPMe provides local HIV prevention resources in English and Spanish for patients and providers in all 50 states.”
“We’re looking forward not only to assisting individuals to understand PrEP and how to find and maintain their prescriptions,” remarked Alan McCord, Director of Education at Project Inform, “we also want to collaborate with the burgeoning network of PrEP navigators around the state to reach those who are eligible for PrEP. Our shared experiences and knowledge can help overcome the real or perceived barriers that many Californians have when getting and adhering to PrEP.”
Visit PleasePrEPMe.org and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute to the website’s expansion by submitting your state’s best online resources for PrEP seekers, providers, and navigators.