City Clinic Project Expand and Elevate (ExEl)

In 2019, SFDPH was awarded with a grant to develop a local “end the HIV epidemic” plan as part of the national Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative, which aims to reduce the number of new HIV acquisitions in the U.S. by at least 90 percent by 2030. In response, SFDPH and community partners developed the SF Ending the HIV/HCV/STI Epidemics (SF ETE) Plan as a roadmap for how SF could address this syndemic

Then in 2020, SFDPH was awarded two 5-year grants to implement the plan: one from HRSA and another from CDC. SF City Clinic was one of 7 grantees funded for the competitive component of the CDC grant, which aims to scale up HIV prevention services in STI clinics. Project Expand and Elevate (ExEl) began in mid-2020 with the aims to expand capacity to link patients to PrEP or HIV care and to position the clinic’s PrEP program to navigate the complex challenges and opportunities in PrEP implementation in SF.

In year 1 of Project ExEl, SF City Clinic relaunched its PrEP Express Visit program, introduced express visits for asymptomatic HIV/STI screening, developed a plan for implementing HIV viral load testing to help identify non-virally suppressed people living with HIV, conducted a survey on PrEP retention, and resumed sexual health public health detailing and technical assistance to other agencies and clinics.

Slated activities for year 2 include: 1) conducting a community perspectives assessment to better understand perspectives of LGBTQ communities of color on sexual health services in San Francisco, and how City Clinic services could be transformed to better meet needs of our Black and Latinx patients; 2) implementing an electronic self-administered sexual health assessment; and 3) optimizing the clinic scheduling system post-COVID-19 to allow both appointments and drop-ins.  

CDC’s direct funding to STI clinics is a historic recognition of the critical role that STI clinics play in our nationwide HIV Getting to Zero efforts.  Through Project ExEl, SF City Clinic will help to develop and disseminate innovations in HIV prevention services.