PleasePrEPMe Blog #2

PleasePrEPMe approaches PrEP access from a place of cultural humility: We stay curious about the contexts in which our online visitors live their lives, and we provide a safe space for them to ask questions and get answers and resources about their options for preventing HIV.

This approach is the foundation of our NLM-funded online course, “Helping People Access PrEP: A Frontline Provider Training on PrEP Research, Care, and Navigation.” Navigators and frontline folks are uniquely positioned to make sexual health services welcoming and inclusive, so PrEP seekers get their needs met and feel comfortable returning for ongoing PrEP visits. We developed this training to help new navigators build not just clinical best practices but also cultural humility and empathy into the PrEP care offered at their site.

In this quarter, we recorded new videos for our training modules to capture essential changes in the PrEP landscape, such as the FDA approval of Descovy as a second PrEP option and expanded telemedicine services. Just as essential are updates that arise from our ongoing learning and curiosity about the lives and cultures of the people we serve, such as preferred anatomical terminology to respectfully describe bodies of all genders (for example, during STI testing).

Additionally, in this quarter our team began more specifically incorporating antiracism into our cultural humility learning and practice. We started with a weekly book group, reading and discussing Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad and How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. We’re taking part in trainings and webinars on diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in medicine and public health. We’re gathering and vetting resources to help people who do PrEP navigation recognize their own biases and privilege, and to support their antiracism efforts and self-care.

We want to understand how racism can impact people’s access to HIV prevention tools, and how navigators, frontline staff, and others in the sexual health space can create antiracist policies and practices that advance equity and better support and empower the people we serve.

And we’re excited to be taking what we learn and incorporating it into our update of “Helping People Access PrEP.”

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