UAMS HealthNow Offers New Digital Health Program for Prevention of HIV Infections

By Ben Boulden

Non-HIV positive patients who engage in high-risk behaviors and adhere to the use of anti-retroviral medications have experienced a 90% reduction in the transmission of HIV.

The new Digital Health HIV Prevention Program will provide preventive medications for patients who are at high risk for HIV, who have normal kidney function and who can keep to a daily medication plan with quarterly follow-up.

“Because there are very few providers in Arkansas willing to provide these services, it’s been difficult for patients who might benefit from them to get access to this kind of screening, monitoring and prescribing,” said Joseph Sanford, M.D., interim director of the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. “UAMS HealthNow and the new Digital Health HIV Prevention program can provide services statewide to anyone with internet access on a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer.”

Shashank Kraleti, M.D., residency program director in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, will serve as supervising physician for the program.

“Along with Dr. Sanford, we recognized this need,” said Stacy Petty, APRN, director of UAMS HealthNow. “UAMS HealthNow can offer the privacy and confidentiality that may make it easier for patients to seek these services from us. We’re ready to do that as well as provide the follow-up consultations needed to help keep patients free of HIV.”

Among the patients who can benefit from the new program are those who:

  • Have had sexual intercourse in the past six months and who have not consistently used a condom, had a sexual partner with HIV, and/or have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the past six months.
  • Inject drugs other than those prescribed and/or share needles, syringes or other equipment.
  • Have used measures against HIV after being exposed to it and have continued high-risk behavior.

UAMS HealthNow will be seeing patients in the program initially and then for continued care every three months after that. Testing will be required with each visit, and UAMS is collaborating with LabCorp to offer testing and laboratory access to labs in Little Rock Fayetteville, Texarkana, Batesville, Jonesboro and Fort Smith.

The program is open to anyone in Arkansas, not just people who already or have been patients at UAMS. The Digital Health HIV Prevention Program accepts health insurance as well as cash.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — COPD, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.