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  • HIVMA News Release
  • HIVMA Supports FDA PrEP Decision, Urges Attention to Health Disparities

    07/16/2012

    Statement from HIV Medicine Association Chair Judith A. Aberg, MD, FIDSA

    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:

    • Funding for safety-net programs serving people with HIV, such as the Ryan White program, should not be diverted to support PrEP.
    • Primary care and obstetrics-gynecology medical providers should be educated about HIV testing and U.S. Public Health Service guidance or recommendations for prescribing and monitoring PrEP.
    • Further study of PrEP among women, especially women of color, should be conducted.
    • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force should be encouraged to review coverage for PrEP for men who have sex with men, discordant couples (in which one partner is infected with HIV and the other is not), and other high risk groups to facilitate coverage by insurers, including Medicaid programs.

    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.

  • The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) is the professional home for more than 5,000 physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice. For more information, visit www.hivma.org.

 

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