CDC recommends dramatic expansion of HIV prevention drugs | Connect FM | Local news radio

(ATLANTA) – While a cure for HIV has remained elusive, in recent years great strides have been made in the prevention and management of HIV and AIDS, the disease that the virus if not causes. not processed.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to dramatically expand access to HIV prevention drugs. Released on Wednesday, the CDC’s latest guidelines encourage more frequent conversations about HIV prevention drugs among healthcare providers and patients. The guidelines also highlight new drugs recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and some awaiting FDA approval, to further expand these options.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, is a preventative medicine that reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by up to 99% when taken as prescribed. When taken appropriately, it has a low risk of side effects and is very effective.

But preliminary data from the CDC suggests that by 2020, only a quarter of people for whom PrEP was recommended were taking it.

“We have a big implementation gap when it comes to PrEP,” said Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health.

The cause of this discrepancy appears to be twofold. Not all health care providers routinely discuss PrEP with their patients, and many patients may feel uncomfortable sharing details about their sexual practices.

“As providers, we don’t necessarily ask questions about sexual behavior. We’re not filtering as much as we should, ”Ellerin added. “And it is also possible that some patients are not open to their sexual behaviors.”

The CDC’s latest guidelines aim to fill this gap by recommending that healthcare providers discuss PrEP with every sexually active patient.

“I think the most valuable update that could have been put in place was to encourage providers to discuss the benefits of PrEP, as many patients are not aware of its existence or its benefits.” said Dr Darien Sutton, a board certified. emergency doctor.

The CDC recommends PrEP for people at high risk of contracting HIV: those whose sexual partner is HIV-positive, those who have had a sexually transmitted bacterial infection (STI) in the past 6 months, and those who do not use condoms or use condoms irregularly. The CDC guidelines also recommend PrEP for people who inject drugs and have an HIV-positive injecting partner or who share injecting equipment.

“Honestly, I have conversations about PrEP with one of my patients who is sexually active with more than one partner. I think it should just start there, ”added Sutton.

Truvada and Descovy are PrEP pills that need to be taken daily for at least a week to be fully effective, and for those who don’t want to take a daily pill, another option may be on the horizon.

Cabotegravir is an injectable drug that has been shown to be effective for the prevention of HIV in clinical trials and is pending FDA approval for use as PrEP. If approved, it should only be injected once every two months.

“Regarding Cabotegravir, you know, we hope it gets approved, and it’s definitely helpful for people who don’t like to take a pill a day,” said infectious disease specialist Dr Simone Wildes. at South Shore Health.

Sara Yumeen, MD, resident in dermatology at Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, contributes to the ABC News medical unit. Todd Ellerin, MD, is a consultant for Gilead and ViiV, makers of Truvada and Cabotegravir.

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