HIV prevention startup concludes research study with Washington, DC Department of Health
Washington, DC, February 14, 2020 —
UrSure, an HIV prevention company, today announced that they had completed a pilot program with the Washington, DC Department of Health. During the course of the program, the DC DOH ran 125 of UrSure’s novel PrEP adherence tests with individuals on PrEP at one of their largest public health clinics in the District.
UrSure makes urine tests to measure and improve adherence to the HIV preventive medication PrEP. According to Dr. Giffin Daughtridge, co-founder and CEO of UrSure “This was a very exciting collaboration for UrSure because Washington, DC is one of the most innovative Departments of Health in the country.”
In December 2019 the CDC issued a report showing Washington, DC had the second highest rate of PrEP coverage in the country. The DC DOH has achieved this through a focus on making HIV testing, PrEP, and doctor’s visits accessible to every patient regardless of their insurance status notes Michael Kharfen, the Sr Deputy Director of the DC HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration.
The UrSure study was supported through an innovation fund that the DC DOH has available for new technologies. Over the course of the study, 16 individuals were identified by the test as needing additional adherence support. According to Dr. Adam Visconti, the Chief Medical Officer of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration in the Department “the tests led the clinical staff at the clinic to discuss adherence more routinely as a clinic, and made their approach to managing adherence more quantitative.”
Data from the study is now being analyzed, and DC’s DOH team is looking forward to the availability of a point of care version of UrSure’s urine adherence test (looks and works like a pregnancy test, but measures PrEP adherence) due out in 2020. “Having the ability to do the test and get results back immediately would be a big help” said Dr. Visconti.
According to Dr. Daughtridge, “PrEP requires uptake, adherence, and retention to ultimately be successful. We are excited to see the progress DC DOH is making to increase uptake, and we hope UrSure can continue supporting adherence and retention through our novel tests.”