A new article published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association outlines proven methods of encouraging HIV prevention for at-risk populations. “Enhancing HIV Prevention With New Modalities and Routine Sexual History Discussions” is co-authored by Kenneth H. Mayer, MD, andLao-Tzu Allan-Blitz, MD.
As the article notes, despite decades of incredible progress in improving HIV prevention tools, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), more than 36,000 new HIV infections occurred in the U.S. in 2019. Additionally, less than a third of people who are candidates for PrEP have used it.
“PrEP use in proportion to need is particularly low among youth, Black and Latinx men and women, and among men who have sex with men and transgender people,” the authors note. “A key factor limiting PrEP use is hesitancy on the part of clinicians to prescribe PrEP.”
In response to this clinical hesitancy, the CDC revised its PrEP guidance for health care professionals in December of 2021, making several notable changes in policy. The new article explains these changes and the evidence supporting them. The authors go on to explain the implications of the changes for clinicians and make recommendations for encouraging patients to adopt PrEP for HIV prevention.
“The CDC’s recent guidance on PrEP is important, since it provides direction for the use of several newer HIV prevention modalities and it highlights the important role that all primary care providers can play in discussing sexual behavior and the role of PrEP with their patients,” said Dr. Mayer, Medical Research Director at Fenway Health and Co-Director of The Fenway Institute. “The document underscores the role of PrEP as one of the key advances that can help prevent new HIV infections.”
The full article is available on JAMA here.