Description: PrEP stands for Pre Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV prevention; it is a new and vital part of overall HIV risk reduction. By taking a medication (Truvada) every day, PrEP clients can lower their risk of contracting HIV by nearly 98%. This treatment program has been made available for those who are vulnerable for acquiring HIV from risky sexual or injection drug practices as well as those who have an exclusive relationship with an HIV (+) partner.
Click here to take your HIV Risk Test
Participating in the PrEP program at WCHD provides you with:
- Medication monitoring to watch for dosing patterns and side effect
- Risk-reduction counseling
- Regular STI screening and treatment
- HIV Screening (4th generation rapid testing)
- Hepatitis screening (A, B, C)
- Immunization status review and update, as needed (Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HPV)
The PrEP team consists of our clinicians: Diana Gaviria MD and Tammi Fuller CNM; nurses: Micke A. Brown BSN, RN, Program Coordinator and Kim Ward RN; administrative assistant: Jennifer Bassler and Jennifer Shepheard, who is the PrEP Navigator for the five western counties: Carroll, Frederick, Allegany, Garrett as well as Washington County—her home base. Shepheard’s key role is education and outreach.
How to enroll: There are two ways to enroll in the program:
Times of Operation: The clinic is appointment only; scheduled on the first and third Thursday afternoon of the month.
Eligibility requirements: You must be HIV negative AND at increased risk of HIV exposure; a risk assessment will be performed before your first appointment can be made. Click here for more information getting HIV tested.
Currently, you must be a Maryland resident; out-of -state residents may be eligible depending on your insurance plan (upfront payment might be required).
You need to have active or pending health insurance. Most private and state insurance plans cover PrEP. Check with your benefits counselor if you are unsure.
If you are uninsured, we can begin your care while applying for insurance coverage is underway. If you need help applying for health insurance, enroll with Maryland Health Connection:
By Phone: 1-855-642-8572 (toll-free)
In Person: Visit the WCHD reception desk and sign-up with an insurance navigator.
What to expect: A risk assessment form will be completed with the PrEP nurse by phone. Try to come about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to allow for the registration process. Complete the registration form upon arrival to WCHD reception area and be sure to indicate that you are here for the PrEP clinic on that form before you give it to the receptionist. Other clinics are often being offered during the same period of time. You will be escorted back to the clinic area by a member of the PrEP team.
How long does it take: PrEP takes commitment from you and ongoing monitoring from your PrEP team:
First appointment: Over 1 to 1 ½ hours – full history & physical as well as HIV screening and other lab testing will be performed/ordered.
Two-week follow-up: 1 hour for HIV screening, review test results, provide treatment or vaccinations as needed, and discuss/obtain your first prescription for 30 days.
One (1) month follow-up: 1 hour for HIV screening, review medication effects and risk/exposure screening, as needed. Obtain new prescription for 90 days.
Every three (3) months thereafter: 1 hour for HIV screening and counseling/coaching as needed. Obtain new prescription for 90 days as long as HIV risks exists.
Cost: Your insurance company will be directly billed. Please be sure that any pre-certification or referral requirements have been completed prior to your scheduled appointment. For any billing questions, please call: 240-313-3492
Wish to self-pay (pay out of pocket)? The billing office can assist with those arrangements, if this option is desired.
What to bring:
- Proof of residency (an official Maryland photo ID)
- Health Insurance Card
- Proof of Income (W2 form, pay stub or tax filing) if sliding scale eligible
For More Information: