Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Made Easier by Widget
New York State emergency room doctors will have a new tool to help them with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment for anyone exposed to the HIV virus.
The new tool is in the form of a computer widget developed by a team of doctors from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan. Financing for the project came from the NY State’s AIDS Institute.
The widget gives access to up-to-date guidelines to more than 200 emergency rooms throughout New York State. The computer widget will walk users through a screening process to determine whether they are candidates for treatment. If so, it then provides specific information about the 28-day course of antiretroviral drugs.
Dr Tony Urbina is the medical director of HIV/AIDS education at St. Vincent. He and Paul Galatowitsch developed the widget. Urbina is reported to say, “There’s a gap in knowledge in the health care sector about these topics. You’d be surprised at how many patients come to us and say, ‘I went to an emergency room, and the doctor didn’t know what I was talking about, and I didn’t get the drugs. ”
Anyone who may have been exposed to the HIV virus through sex, drug use, or blood contact/ needle stick at work should may need PEP drug treatment to prevent the virus from multiplying, resulting in an infection.
For PEP treatment to prevent an HIV infection, it is important that the drug treatment be given immediately. It is best to be given within 36 hours of exposure though the CDC puts the window at 72 hours.
For those outside of New York State, we can only hope they will share the widget.