Eliminate HIV Once and for All by Increasing HIV Prevention

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 32 million have already succumbed to the scourge of HIV and at the end of 2018 nearly 38 million were infected. HIV is no longer a death sentence. Since its discovery in 1983, HIV treatment has advanced to turn this previously invariably fatal condition into a chronic disease. Now over 60% of those infected are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART). 

Although there is no cure for HIV, the disease can be prevented. With the development of single drug oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), HIV can be prevented in 97% of users. Last year, the USPSTF published recommendations to expand HIV screening and to offer PrEP to those at risk.  The U.S. government has launched a campaign to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 via its “get ready, set, PrEP” campaign. In an editorial that accompanies the new USPSTF HIV recommendations, the author argues the key to eliminating HIV is for primary care providers to lead the way by prescribing PrEP. Most infectious disease providers will not see those at risk (rather only those already infected). Whereas primary care providers could play a critical role in expanding the use of PrEP. 

To help eliminate HIV worldwide, the WHO published PrEP guidelines back in 2015. Now they have an app that brings their guideline to life in 3 languages! HIV Oral PrEP: Oral PrEP Implementation Tool is designed for prescribers, counselors, pharmacists, and PrEP users. The app contains invaluable information about the proper use of PrEP from screening, counseling, prescribing, and follow-up. Now none of us in primary care have an excuse not to prescribe PrEP. The only downside is the cost as a year of Truvada costs nearly $2000/month in the United States. Thankfully, a new initiative from Gilead, the maker of Truvada, will support the HIV.gov campaign with free supply of medication for PrEP users. The WHO HIV Oral PrEP app could be the tool to help this dream become a reality by making all of us in primary care more comfortable with prescribing PrEP. 

Evidence-based medicine

The app takes the authoritative, evidence-based 2015 WHO PrEP guidelines and adapts them to mobile devices. The app is unique in that it is divided into modules based on provider type  (medical providers, counselors, and pharmacists) and for PrEP users. The app contains hyperlinks to the full guideline, guidelines from other organizations, online training, and references. 

Who would benefit from this App?

PrEP users, residents, mid-levels, counselors, primary care providers, pharmacists and any other provider who can counsel, prescribe, or follow patients on PrEP.

  • Price
    • Free
  • Likes
    • Dedicated modules with content geared to medical providers, counselors, pharmacists, and PrEP users.
    • Available in multiple languages with numerous online resources.
    • Available for Android.
  • Dislikes
    • All of the additional resources require internet via hyperlinks.
    • Original WHO guideline not updated since 2015.
    • No videos on counseling techniques/asking sensitive questions.
  • Overall

The WHO HIV Oral PrEP app brings the most recent WHO PrEP guidelines and numerous additional resources to your smart device. The app is available in multiple languages and has content tailored to providers, counselors, pharmacists, and PrEP users. The app can serve as a one-stop-shop for those interested in learning how to screen, counsel, prescribe, and follow-up PrEP for HIV prevention. The app is easy to use and links to additional resources including online training. Highly recommended as the movement to eliminate HIV gains momentum.  

  • Overall Score
    • 5.0 stars
  • User Interface
    • 4.5 stars

Easy to navigate between modules and content within each module including comprehensive PrEP topics, pocket card, FAQs and resources.

  • Multimedia Usage
    • 4.5 stars

App is available in multiple languages, includes one medical calculator (Cr Clearance), and links to numerous additional resources and references.  

  • Price
    • 5 stars

A lifesaving app for free.

  • Real-World Applicability
    • 5 stars

An app that can truly save lives. HIV Oral PrEP is an invaluable tool to primary care providers and others who want to screen and prescribe PrEP for HIV prevention. The app is also an outstanding educational tool for PrEP users.

  • Device Used For Review

iPhone 8 running iOS 13.3.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.