UW Health Combats HIV With PrEP It Up

Photo: Av9, licensed under Creative Commons

Author: Sam Buisman and Alice Alexeeva

UW Health is expanding its efforts to provide the preventative HIV medication called PrEP to Madisonians.

According to a press release, UW Health received a $350 thousand grant from the CDC and the state to fund its “PrEP It Up” initiative, which aims to increase awareness and access to the drug in Dane county. With this grant, UW Health has launched an advertising campaign and website to connect community members to PrEP and hired a dedicated PrEP navigator to counsel patients on their decision to use the drug.

Reporters Alice Alexeeva and Sam Buisman talked with the PrEP navigator herself, Shannon Ruth-Leigh, to get an insider’s perspective on the vision and prospects of this initiative.

They also talked to UW Medical Foundation Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Dr. Dave O’Connor for his insights as a scholar and lab scientist on the potential of this initiative and the difficulties that they may face.