The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Prevention Information Program (NPIN) recently integrated the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health-developed PrEP Locator tool into NPIN’s national service directory (an extensive database of HIV/STD/hepatitis testing locations).
PrEP Locator is the first national database of clinics prescribing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) — a drug that is highly effective in preventing the spread of HIV for those at risk — and was created by Dr. Aaron Siegler, research assistant professor in epidemiology, at Emory. It was established to provide a standardized platform that could serve at-risk individuals with a reliable, easy-to-use tool for finding PrEP care providers.
“I’m really proud of this effort and to have led it, but it has truly been a collaboration,” says Dr. Siegler. “A lot of what we did in creating PrEP Locator was informed by NPIN’s success of building a database of HIV and other prevention services. This will become a resource that I expect to be sustained in perpetuity. NPIN has been a fantastic partner and I’m honored to be working with them.”
PrEP Locator was funded by the M·A·C AIDS Fund and was developed with the help of Emory researchers, dozens of graduate students, numerous experts, members of Greater Than AIDS, review boards, and more. PrEP Locator launched in 2016 with 1,200 providers and has been widely used by both patients and clinicians. To date, the tool has experienced nearly 80 percent growth with 2,100 providers listed in the database at time of publication (the database allows users to submit new PrEP providers to the map) and has had over 150,000 users land on the website. Moving forward, Dr. Siegler’s team will continue to manage the PrEP Locator website, while NPIN will maintain the database.
“I think if you provide a good public health resource, it will grow in unexpected ways,” says Dr. Siegler. “One of the most exciting things about NPIN is that they are so established in the community, which will enable a much broader base of people to find and use the PrEP finding tool.”