As a sexual health nurse, Rich Newton introduces people to PrEP almost every day. He is enthusiastic about recommending Preptrack in his clinic and has seen the ways that Preptrack is able to help people get on top of PrEP. We called him up to hear more about his experiences. Watch the full conversation in the video below or scroll down to read the transcript. Hear more from Rich on his Twitter @theSexNurseRich
We’d like to chat to more people that are using Preptrack. If you’d like to share your experience please get in touch via social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q1: Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
Hello I’m Richard Newton. I’m a sexual health nurse based in the beautiful North Wales and I’m a lead nurse for PrEP provision in the Sexual Health Service and I also provide healthcare for people living with HIV and people who have a need for any GUM (genitourniary medicine) or contraceptive needs as well.
Q2: What is PrEP and why is it so important?
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s a tablet that you take before and after any unprotected sex because it’s a revolutionary method of HIV prevention. It’s now actually becoming part of people’s lifestyle as well so they’re adopting it as part of their sexual lifestyle and, when I’m seeing patients, they’re actually saying that they’re recommending it to their friends as well who they believe might also be at risk.
The important thing about PrEP though is you need to be aware that it only protects you from transmission of HIV and it doesn’t protect you against any other STIs. It’s important for people to know about PrEP because it seems to be contributing to the decrease of new HIV diagnosis. It also empowers people as well to take control of their health and I think also it’s just paving the way for future preventative medications as well.
Q3: Why is Preptrack exciting and who should use it?
I think it’s it’s a really good tool for people to basically again, like I’ve mentioned before, just to give them a sense of empowerment with their own health or especially their sexual health. Again I have some patients that once I’ve done their reviews I notice maybe that they’re currently on a daily regime and I feel that maybe they need tobe reduced to an event-based regime that in turn comes with an anxiety for them because then they think “oh gosh I’m going to miss the doses I’m really not familiar with it.” So then obviously at that point I recommend them to download Preptrack as well. I let them explore Preptrack for one month start taking it event-based and then I revisit them again in one month’s time and then get some feedback from them in terms of how they’re managing it and literally every person that I recommended to Preptrack has had 100% satisfaction with the app. They said it has really relieved their anxiety, their stress. It’s not an invasive app either. It’s really easy to use. So I think in terms of medication adherence it’s a really, really good app for patients.
The app itself as well I find is a really good evidence based resource as well for patients and even potentially for health professionals as well. And obviously it references BHIVA and it has links to Prepster, to I Want PrEP Now. It’s just a really good source of information as well. So I think it’s a multi-use tool for patients.
Q4: What would you say to colleagues about Preptrack?
Recommend it first of all for sure. Part of our role as health professionals is that we are really trying to empower patients to take control and become independent with their healthcare. So Preptrack basically is another tool that we can use.
Where we are at now is that a lot of things are on mobiles online and a lot of healthcare is going online as well. So I think utilising apps and anything on mobiles with healthcare is the way forward and I think with Preptrack because it is so evidence based and Preptrack does use resources that we literally use on a daily basis ourselves as healthcare professionals. I think it’s quite vital really for especially sexual health services to adopt this app.
It’s something really that I think health professionals probably need to think of more broadly as well because if health professionals even though they’re not in sexual health they may come across somebody who is actually at risk of HIV but what they could do is actually have the information about Preptrack and then they could ask them “Right it’s best maybe to download Preptrack. Have a read up about this thing called PrEP” and then because on Preptrack it has even links to your nearest sexual health clinics as well. So it’s a full resource really for a patient. So I think any health professional should download Preptrack.
I mean I find it so useful for my work and I’ve even incorporated the actual recommendation of Preptrack into the medical assessments as well so for the initiation of PrEP and the reviews of PrEP it’s literally written down on the form now so even if it’s not myself that’s reviewing the patient I know for sure that whoever is going to be seeing them is definitely going to be recommending Preptrack as well.
It’s obviously very useful for us in Wales as well because it’s been endorsed by Public Health Wales and it’s also bilingual as well so we’ve broken that language barrier basically straight away. So yeah so for any health professional really I would say just they could even download it themselves to explore it but I would definitely say recommend patients who feel that is potentially at risk of HIV or actually are currently on PrEP. I would definitely recommend them to download Preptrack.