Adagio Health to begin prescribing PrEP to high-risk patients in western Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pa. (April 16, 2019)—Adagio Health is adding PrEP to a growing list of expanded healthcare services the nonprofit organization now offers patients in western Pennsylvania. PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Treatment involves taking a once-a-day pill called Truvada that, when used correctly, can help significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission through sexual activity.  Adagio Health will offer PrEP at medical offices in these counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Erie, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence and Venango.

President and CEO BJ Leber is gratified to see PrEP made available to patients of Adagio Health. “Now, patients in the rural communities we serve won’t have to travel in order to obtain a prescription for PrEP. They can come directly to a nearby Adagio Health office, get the necessary medical exam and bloodwork, and get a prescription for this potentially life-saving drug.”

Director of Practice Operations Lisa Pareso further explained the drug’s significance. “We recently diagnosed four new cases of HIV in western PA. We want to see our patients protected from a chronic health condition they’ll have to live with the rest of their lives.” 

PrEP prescriptions typically cover patients for 90 days, after which they need to come back into the medical office to be seen and tested once again.  “The maker of the drug we prescribe suggests that patients use a seasonal schedule as a reminder: it’s fall, I need my PrEP check-up.  And then repeat for winter, spring and summer,” said Pareso. 

Adagio Health medical providers say the drug can benefit anyone who is participating in high risk sexual behavior or who believes they may be at risk for HIV. Previous contraction of a sexually transmitted disease is also believed to increase risk for contraction of HIV.

 The makers of Truvada emphasize the following recommendations for patients before and while taking PrEP:

 -  You must be HIV-negative before you start and while taking Truvada for PrEP.
 -  Do not take Truvada to reduce risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-negative.

 -  Get tested for HIV-1 immeditely before and at least every 3 months while taking Truvada.
 -  If you think you were expoed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away.
 -  Do not miss any doses of Truvada.  Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection.

And while PrEP is covered by most commercial health care plans, there are also several no or low-cost plans available for patients who don’t have any insurance. 

Adagio Health will begin prescribing PrEP at its western Pennsylvania medical offices on April 29, 2019.  For more information and to find a nearby Adagio Health location, log on to or call 1-800-215-7494. 

About Adagio Health – Since 1971, Adagio Health has provided health and wellness services and support throughout 23 counties in Western Pennsylvania. Services include family planning and reproductive care, prenatal care, STI testing and treatment, breast and cervical cancer screening, community education, nutrition services, and basic adult healthcare including immunizations and screenings for common conditions. Many of the nearly 110,000 patients receiving services are women who are uninsured, underinsured or need access to confidential reproductive health and family planning services. These services are provided through funding from foundations, the State and Federal government and in partnership with a variety of community partners and other funders.