As the nation’s leading group of HIV medical providers and researchers, the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) supports the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of emtricitabine/tenofovir as a prevention tool for high-risk individuals not infected with HIV to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection, also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Implementation of PrEP, however, must not contribute to HIV-related health care disparities. This is a particular concern because the low income and minority populations most heavily affected by HIV infection are less likely to be engaged in health care and are more likely to be uninsured or rely on Medicaid coverage. To reduce disparities, we urge attention to the following key issues:
PrEP is an important and welcome step forward as momentum builds for making serious headway against HIV infection. Early and reliable access to HIV treatment for HIV-infected individuals also greatly reduces transmission risk and dramatically improves outcomes for the individual infected with HIV. With President Obama and other leaders embracing an “AIDS-free generation” as an achievable goal, we must prioritize providing HIV treatment to everyone living with HIV in the U.S. and around the globe to save lives and reduce the spread of this deadly disease.
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