TelePrep, HIV prevention initiative, to target rural Iowa


July 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A new telehealth initiative will expand H-I-V prevention efforts in rural Iowa, where H-I-V rates continue to climb. TelePrep will use at-home video calls and the postal system to administer H-I-V prevention medication to rural residents who are at risk. TelePrep coordinator Angie Hoth says in other Midwestern states, H-I-V cases are mostly concentrated in big cities.

Hoth says, “Whereas Iowa has approximately 25 to 30 percent of its HIV cases occurring in a rural part of the state, which is quite unique compared to our neighbors.” Hoth says the TelePrep program expects to serve 300 to 500 rural Iowa residents. She says the distance from cities can be a barrier to getting H-I-V prevention medication.

Hoth says, “People who may be at risk may be eligible for HIV prevention and for sexually-transmitted infection prevention don’t always have access to the services they need.” University of Iowa Health Care and the Iowa Department of Public Health are collaborating on TelePrep, which may be the only program of its kind in the country.

(Radio Iowa)