Optimizing the Delivery of HIV nPEP

Optimizing the Delivery of HIV nPEP

Despite decades of traditional prevention efforts based on behavior change and condom use, Ontario has seen over 700 new HIV infections annually over the past 10 years. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is one such approach, in which uninfected persons use 28 days of antiretroviral medications (ARVs) shortly after an HIV exposure to minimize the risk of acquiring HIV. PEP is highly efficacious, is considered a standard of care intervention based on medical and ethical grounds, and is supported by treatment guidelines. Yet several implementation challenges have limited its clinical and public health impact in Ontario, where no formal PEP policy exists. Our proposal seeks to optimize two aspects of delivering PEP for sexual exposures (nPEP). Results will inform the development of a standardized approach to nPEP both province-wide and elsewhere. Thus study has pragmatic, multicenter randomized controlled trial using a 2x2 factorial design to determine whether the proportion of nPEP patients that successfully complete follow-up: 1. is higher among those receiving mobile phone-based text messaging support than among those receiving standard care; and 2. is non-inferior among those receiving care from a sexual health clinic nurse compared to those receiving hospital-based physician care. The prospective, randomized, non-blinded, 2x2 factorial trial that will enroll 318 study participants in Toronto. In Intervention A, we will randomize half of study participants to a text messaging support service ('WelTel'), in which a trained, community-based counselor provides standardized weekly 'check-in' messages during their 12-week course of PEP follow-up. The other half will receive standard care, which does not include any form of active outreach or reminders outside of scheduled appointments. In Intervention B, we will randomize half of participants to receive nurse-led care for PEP follow-up at a local sexual health clinic; the other half will receive standard care by a hospital-based ID physician. The specific activities for each follow-up visit will be clearly defined in a medical directive. In keeping with Ontario legislation on medical directives, nurses will review cases with their authorizing physician or nurse practitioner on a routine basis.

Pharmaceutical medication involved
Recruiting patients only

Drug - nPEP

Participants will receive Bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide 50/200/25mg (Biktarvy®) one tablet once daily as study drug to complete a 28 day course of PEP.

Behavioral - Text Messaging Support

Text messaging support service ('WelTel'): community-based counselors will provides standardized weekly 'check-in' messages during the participants 12-week course of nPEP follow-up. Participants in the text-message arm will also have the option of receiving generic non-specific automated text reminders of their upcoming appointments in the form of "Don't forget about tomorrow".

Nurse-Led nPEP

nPEP follow-up is provided by nurse-led care at a local sexual health clinic instead of a hospital-based ID physician.

Optimizing the Delivery of HIV Post-exposure Prophylaxis: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Text Messaging Support and Physician to Nurse Task-shifting