Miami Beach Launches University of Miami PrEP Mobile Wellness Clinic
(Miami Beach, FL) Sep 13, 2018 -
South Florida has long been known for its high HIV infection rate. In response to the concerning and growing epidemic, the City of Miami Beach has partnered with the University of Miami (UM), Prevention 305 and the Hotel Gaythering to launch UM’s PrEP Mobile Wellness Clinic. Beginning Monday, October 1, the clinic will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. outside of the Hotel Gaythering on Lincoln Road.
Providing highly-effective strategies for HIV prevention, the mobile clinic will be key in delivering quality health services in an easily accessible and non-clinical setting – specifically offering evaluations for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) free of charge or complications. When taken daily, PrEP medication reduces the risk of HIV infection by more than 90 percent. PrEP has been cited in the dramatic reduction of HIV infections in major urban areas. After its widespread adoption in San Francisco, new HIV diagnoses dropped 17 percent. Meanwhile, in London, the City’s busiest sexual health clinic attributed a 40 percent reduction in new HIV cases to PrEP.
“The challenge for people in Miami Beach to obtain this life-changing medication is threefold: there are few access points for those who are uninsured, there is anxiety about clinical or HIV focused settings and there are few locations accessible to those who work during the day,” noted Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán. “With the UM Mobile Clinic, we’re hoping to not only make this quality of preventive care obtainable, but also eliminate any stigma and save lives in the process.”
Due to requirements for screening medical examinations, laboratory testing and consistent prescriptions fills, many people have difficulty accessing PrEP.
“Bridging the gap for those without insurance or with difficulty accessing services during business hours, the UM Mobile Clinic will allow people to benefit from highly effective HIV prevention options, while also reducing stigma,” added Commissioner Michael Gongora.
The program will additionally offer comprehensive prevention services, including rapid HIV testing, condom and lubricant distribution, sexually transmitted disease testing, cancer screenings, and a variety of other services.