Primary Health Care Uses Data to Target HIV Outreach

Primary Health Care does HIV testing and prevention education at events like Pride parades.Primary Health Care, Inc. (PHC) HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer, is dually funded by HRSA’s Health Center Program and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. It serves the Des Moines, IA, metro area and surrounding counties. PHC has integrated HIV and primary care, behavioral health, pharmacy, dental, and a homeless support program.


PHC provides comprehensive HIV care that includes prevention, testing, and treatment called The Project HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer. Iowa presents a unique challenge with its rural population—the 10 counties experiencing the HIV epidemic are spread across the state, making testing and treatment difficult.

PHC is a sub-grantee of the Iowa Department of Public Health HIV Program. They conduct extensive outreach to increase access to HIV testing and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). The health center also receives referrals from the state’s hotline and website for lab draws for patients participating in the state’s telePrEP program and patients who receive in-person PrEP at the health center. 

Outreach & Testing

PHC conducts events throughout the community to provide outreach, testing, and information about PrEP. The PHC prevention team is responsible for doing education, testing and outreach to reduce the number of new HIV infections in Iowa. The team consists of a prevention services manager and three prevention specialists.

PHC uses data to identify priority populations and areas to focus outreach and testing efforts. For example, 2019 is set to be the first year in Iowa more people of ethnic/minority backgrounds will be diagnosed with HIV infection than white people (IA is 93% white). Thus, PHC does outreach at the Black Cultural Center at Drake University and seeks ways to both focus efforts toward minority populations for testing and identify barriers for these groups to access HIV prevention.

PHC also focuses outreach on youth and young adults. They attend youth LGBTQ conferences and visit college campuses. With youth organizations that prefer to not to discuss sex directly, they discuss consent and hand out cards for people to read and contact PHC for more information.


The PHC clinic has one central patient check-in desk and waiting room, and providers call patients for their visits from both left and right entrances to the clinic to reduce stigma and increases privacy for the patients. Anyone requesting an HIV test is seen in the HIV clinic, and almost all patients who come to the HIV clinic receive an HIV test. Walk-in testing and same-day PrEP are available. After a conversation about their medical and sexual health history, providers discuss how to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Providers offer PrEP for patients with a negative HIV test.

The workflow identifies at-risk patients. The EHR alerts providers if a patient is on PrEP and gives pre-set lab orders. It also alerts providers when a patient in primary care requests an HIV rapid test, HIV education, and/or PrEP information are needed, so the HIV clinic staff can respond immediately. PrEP patients meet twice a year with the prevention team and twice a year with a clinic provider. In addition, PrEP patients receive benefits assistance and can use the on-site 340B pharmacy. All PHC providers and staff receive training on HIV and PrEP to ensure consistent and quality care.

Date Last Reviewed:  June 2019

More Information

HRSA HIV Webpage

Health center's Uniform Data System (UDS) data

For more information about this practice, contact: John Shaw, HIV prevention manager