October 27, 2020
Northwell Health and Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care today announced a collaboration to promote the long-term sexual health of its patients in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health’s PrEP Aware Week.
Northwell Health notes pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) uses a medication which is 99 percent effective at preventing HIV, while promoting sexual health. PrEP is appropriate for any sexually active person – male, female, straight, gay or transgender – who is currently HIV negative.
As part of the agreement, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care will recommend that patients who seek treatment for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) visit Northwell’s Center for Young Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric HIV in Great Neck. Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, which operates 52 locations across Long Island, New York City and Westchester, provided treatment for more than 5,000 STI cases such as syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia in 2019.
“Our goal is to help people live happy, healthy, safe, sexual lives. PrEP is effective in preventing HIV transmission, and it is part of a prevention package that allows patients to prospectively discuss their sexual health with their doctor,” said David Rosenthal, DO, PhD, medical director of Northwell’s Center for Young Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric HIV. This center oversees Northwell’s PrEP program funded by the New York State Department of Health.
STIs increased dramatically in the United States between 2014 and 2018, the most recent year data was released. Incidences of syphilis jumped 71 percent, gonorrhea spiked 63 percent and chlamydia rose 19 percent over that period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same behavior that leads to STIs also puts those individuals at risk for HIV, which can lead to the disease AIDS.
Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care will continue to treat STI issues while recommending those patients schedule visits with Dr. Rosenthal’s team for a long-term sexual health assessment. PrEP is not a preventative measure for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia or other STIs and does not prevent pregnancy.
“As part of the Northwell Heath network and a partner to the Center for Young Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric HIV, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care is uniquely positioned to identify patients who are at risk for contracting HIV and can help them navigate to a treatment strategy that is remarkably effective in preventing HIV infection and transmission,” said Neal Shipley, MD, medical director of Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care.
More than 30,000 patients were taking PrEP statewide – including nearly 1,900 across Long Island – at the end of 2018. That overall number is expected to double by the end of 2020.
“This partnership allows patients to get the care they need urgently at Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care and simultaneously links patients of all ages to our PrEP team at Northwell Health where they can get ongoing preventative healthcare from providers who are experts in HIV prevention and sexual health,” Dr. Rosenthal said.
Northwell’s PrEP team sees patients at multiple locations across Long Island and Queens and can be reached by contacting PrEP@northwell.edu or 516-622-5187. Northwell also offers a unique telehealth service called “Tele-PrEP,” where patients can be seen via video appointment with their medical provider.
All 52 Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers are open every day, including weekends and holidays. Learn more about the conditions we treat, save your spot, pre-register, and view a full list of in-network insurance plans by visiting online at https://www.gohealthuc.com/nyc.