The new POWER Clinic offers walk-in testing, PrEP and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
BALTIMORE (March 15, 2016) - Working to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission and increase access to lifesaving treatment, Chase Brexton Health Care has launched the newPOWER Clinic to provide HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV.
The POWER (Protecting Ourselves With Every Resource) Clinic is geared to serving people interested in learning about and starting PrEP or PEP, two medication regimens that prevent HIV.
Providers at the clinic have extensive experience caring for patients' sexual health, which includes PrEP, an intervention in which people who do not have HIV take a pill daily to reduce their risk of becoming infected.
"We started the POWER Clinic as a dedicated space for people to learn about PrEP without fear of stigma or judgment," said Dr. John Vaz, Director of HIV and Infectious Diseases at Chase Brexton. "While PrEP has been around for a few years, there still isn't a lot of information out there. PrEP is the newest tool in our toolbox to help stop the spread of HIV."
The clinic also offers PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis, an HIV prevention method that involves starting anti-HIV medications within 72 hours after being potentially exposed to HIV to try to reduce the risk of becoming infected.
The POWER Clinic is part of Chase Brexton's Infectious Diseases Center of Excellence, which offers testing, consultation and management services for HIV, Hepatitis C and a variety of sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
The POWER Clinic provides services to individuals regardless of whether they have insurance. Uninsured patients will be charged a sliding fee based on their income. Insured patients can be referred to the clinic by a primary care provider, HMO or managed care plan. Patients are able to receive same-day HIV testing.
The POWER Clinic, at Chase Brexton's location at 1111 N. Charles Street in Baltimore, has regular hours: Thursdays, by appointment, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays, for walk-ins, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Patients may contact the POWER Clinic with questions at 410-837-2050 ext. 8813. The new Chase Brexton HIV patient hotline is 410-837-2050 ext. 8829.
The POWER Clinic is part of the POWER Project, which offers regular HIV testing and PrEP events at all Chase Brexton centers, in the community, and soon through a mobile testing unit. Visit the website or on Facebook.
HIV/AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death in the city of Baltimore, but at least one in six people who have HIV are not aware of it. Baltimore's rate of infection is 7.5 times higher than the national average, and the city alone accounts for 41 percent of all new cases in Maryland.
The POWER Clinic is funded in part by a grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.