American Academy of Hiv Medicine and the Institute for Technology in Health care announce Dr Michael ohl as the 2018 Hiv Practice award winner

American Academy of Hiv Medicine and the Institute for Technology in Health care announce Dr Michael ohl as the 2018 Hiv Practice award winner

Washington, DC: The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) is pleased to announce Dr. Michael Ohl, MD, MSPH, and the TelePrEP team in Iowa City, IA, are the winners of the annual AAHIVM/Institute for Technology in Health Care HIV Practice Award. Dr. Ohl will receive $27,000 in recognition of his unique model for increasing the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, in rural areas. PrEP is the use of anti-HIV medications to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV infection.

In its seventh year, the AAHIVM/Institute for Technology HIV Practice Award seeks to acknowledge those who have created, adapted and/or used innovative technology in their HIV practice and to share that technological knowledge with others in the practice of HIV medicine to improve patient care.

Dr. Ohl’s award-winning technology, a tele-pharmacist model called “TelePrEP,” was developed through a collaboration with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the University of Iowa (UI).

According to Dr. Ohl’s award application, TelePrEP integrates IDPH and UI resources and employs readily available technologies (i.e video telehealth, electronic health records, and SMS text messaging) to create an innovative, statewide virtual PrEP delivery system. The goal is to improve PrEP access in rural areas by overcoming barriers related to stigma and long distances to providers.

“The innovation of TelePrEP does not lie in development of a specific new technology,” stated Dr. Ohl. “It lies in how partnerships are formed and existing technologies integrated to create a virtual delivery system that transforms every local STD clinic and public health program in Iowa into a point of PrEP access.”

The creation of a private and accessible telehealth delivery model will allow rural-dwelling patients to obtain the same level of preventative care available to their urban-dwelling counterparts, contributing to greater health equity. TelePrEP partnerships allow public health disease intervention specialists to follow up with newly identified STDs among TelePrEP clients with greater efficiency.

“Increasing HIV incidence in some rural areas of the United States – and recent HIV outbreaks in rural areas impacted by the opioid epidemic – demonstrate the need to develop effective and scalable rural PrEP delivery models,” stated Dr. Ohl. “TelePrEP leverages existing technologies, health care resources, and public health programs to create a scalable rural PrEP model that can be replicated in other settings.”

During the pilot year in 2017, TelePrEP received 115 referrals. This resulted in 73 initial visits with clients and 67 Truvada starts for PrEP. Routine screening identified 18 previously undiagnosed STDs among clients and one pregnancy in a client at high risk for HIV infection. The program made 54 vaccine recommendations in 39 clients (9 HPV, 28 hepatitis A and 17 hepatitis B). Retention in PrEP care at 6 months was 78%.

As the winner of the AAHIVM/Institute for Technology in Healthcare HIV Practice Award, Dr. Ohl will present TelePrEP at the ACTHIV conference in Chicago, IL on April 6th. Click here to view the presentation slides.

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The American Academy of HIV Medicine is a professional organization that supports the HIV practitioner and promotes accessible, quality care for all Americans living with HIV disease. Our membership of HIV practitioners and credentialed providers give direct care to the majority of HIV patients in the US.

About ITHC
The Institute for Technology in Health Care (ITHC) encourages the use of technology in various fields to benefit health care. ITHC wishes to stimulate users, researchers, and students to present papers to groups of their peers, or write articles that demonstrate how they have used technology from any field to benefit the practices of medicine to improve health in any community. It is also interested in stimulating innovative projects that use technology from any field to benefit health.