There was important news in the fight against HIV/AIDS this week. The federal government announced they were issuing guidelines that recommend that sexually active HIV-negative gay men take doses of Truvada for "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP) purposes.
The guidelines say PrEP should be considered for HIV-uninfected patients with any of the following indications:This is a very important step. California's largest AIDS service providers had endorsed this position a few weeks ago, so it is good that this policy position will adopted nationwide.
- Anyone who is in an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-infected partner.
- A gay or bisexual man who has had sex without a condom or has been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection within the past six months, and is not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative.
- A heterosexual man or woman who does not always use condoms when having sex with partners known to be at risk for HIV (for example, injecting drug users or bisexual male partners of unknown HIV status), and is not in a mutually-monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative.
“While a vaccine or cure may one day end the HIV epidemic, PrEP is a powerful tool that has the potential to alter the course of the U.S. HIV epidemic today,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “These guidelines represent an important step toward fully realizing the promise of PrEP. We should add to this momentum, working to ensure that PrEP is used by the right people, in the right way, in the right circumstances.”
- Anyone who has, within the past six months, injected illicit drugs and shared equipment or been in a treatment program for injection drug use.