Utah is home to one of the nation’s few free PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) clinics, thanks to Jorgen Madsen, who came out during his first year at the U’s School of Medicine thinking he might never date openly as a medical student or be accepted as a gay physician.
Any at-risk Utahn can now access the PrEP medication, shown to be 90 percent effective at preventing HIV.
Wanting improved relations between the LGBT community and health care providers, Madsen brainstormed with Adam Spivak, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the School of Medicine.
“People shouldn’t have to seek out a gay friendly clinic or doctor, regardless of where they go or who they see,” Madsen said.
Collaborating with Susana Keeshin, an assistant professor of pediatrics and HIV specialist, and nursing student Ben Holdaway, they worked to come up with the idea for a clinic to bypass traditional health systems of insurance approvals and doctor referrals.
“Our community is small enough we can actually show there will be a decrease in HIV prevalence, whereas Atlanta and New York, with so much efflux and influx into the city, can’t,” Madsen said.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2018 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.