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In fight against HIV, First Hill pharmacy reports success with simplified PrEP

(Image: The Polyclinic)

(Image: The Polyclinic)

The 27th year marking World AIDS Day comes with news from Madison St. of a new streamlined process for making a breakthrough measure in the fight against HIV more accessible. It’s an efficiency that could save lives.

First Hill-headquartered Kelley-Ross Pharmacy announced this week that its streamlined HIV prevention program to provide patients with PrEP — pre-exposure prophylaxis — completed a successful pilot earlier this year:

One-Step PrEP is unique because it takes a two or three-week waiting process and condenses it to 45 minutes. Instead of making an appointment with a primary care physician, who may or may not be familiar with PrEP, waiting for labs, and navigating alone the complexity of insurance and/or state-funded medical coverage, patients come to the pharmacy and have a detailed conversation with a trained pharmacist about their risk factors and side effects, while lab results are processed and payment methods are researched.

Kelley-Ross will present findings from the pilot at next week’s CDC National HIV Prevention Symposium.

Starting in 2012, PrEP has proven to be extremely effective in preventing HIV transmission. PrEP is a prevention method for people who don’t have HIV that has involved taking a daily pill to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the virus. New research indicates that the Truvada medication could also be taken “on demand” — before and after sex — and still be effective.

Meanwhile, PrEP remains expensive — around $13,000 a year — but most insurance covers the medicine as do drug assistance and compassionate care programs in the state.

You can learn more about Kelley-Ross at

Meanwhile, you can learn more about how to get involved with local nonprofits fighting AIDS and HIV here: 2015 donation drives, feed the hungry, and volunteer opportunities around Capitol Hill

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