Overviewing a Nurse-Led, Community-Based HIV PEP Program: Applying the Extant Literature in Frontline Practice



This clinical concept paper overviews a program to facilitate access to postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. The project, which was a collaborative initiative involving the local School of Nursing, public health unit, AIDS service organization, hospital-based HIV clinic, and an outpatient pharmacy, was implemented to circumvent common barriers to care identified in the literature. In this project, persons who present to one of the two participating clinics after having come, or likely having come, into contact with HIV within the previous 72 hr, are offered rapid HIV testing, also known as point-of-care (POC) testing, to rule out existing HIV infection, and provided with a follow-up appointment booked at the HIV clinic. Clients are also offered comprehensive STI testing, and HIV prevention counseling. The implementation of this collaborative community-based access-to-PEP project demonstrates the application of research to a real-world health care setting, and it is hoped that others will adapt this model to their local setting, enabling ease of access to PEP for members of groups that are disproportionately affected by HIV.