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CDC Encourages Doctors to Recommend HIV Prevention Meds to Patients to Treat, Prevent Infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aiming to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030. Recently, they released new guidance for doctors to recommend HIV prevention to anyone who asks, especially sexually active adults and adolescents. CDC says that 50% of people who could benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) need to use the drug.


Global HIV and AIDS epidemic

Adult HIV/AIDS Prevalence 2019 (PHOTO: KFF, based on UNAIDS, AIDSInfo, Accessed December 2020)


Prevention of HIV/AIDS

On Wednesday, December 8, the CDC published updated guidance to expand access to the HIV prevention medication PrEP that reduces the risk of getting the sexually transmitted infection from sex by up to 99%, The Hill reported.

Furthermore, this new guidance will encourage doctors to prescribe PrEP to more eligible patients as it recommends they inform all sexually active individuals about the drug. CDC aims to make PrEP more accessible to those who might be apprehensive about HIV stigmas.

PrEP is recommended for people who tested negative for HIV, those who have sexual partners positive for HIV, those who are not regularly using condoms, and those who have been previously diagnosed with STD in the past six months. Additionally, those who inject the drug and have an injection partner positive with HIV or share needles or equipment with them are also advised to take PrEP.

This new guidance comes after recent research of CDC published in Vital Signs, which showed that HIV cases among Black and Hispanic gay men recorded the least decreased cases from 2010 to 2019, while white gay men have a significant drop within the same period.

ALSO READ: WHO Releases New HIV Diagnostic Test Kits That Only Costs Less Than $1 To Curb Transmission Rates

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP): Preventive Healthcare Against HIV

According to CDC, PrEP is a medicine highly effective in preventing HIV when taken as prescribed. The drug prevents the infection around 99% of the time and reduces the risk of getting infected from drug use by at least 74%. 

However, it becomes less effective when it is not taken as prescribed by the doctor. CDC noted that even though the drug offers protection against HIV, condoms are still important against STDs.

RELATED ARTICLE: Alarming Drug-Resistant HIV On The Rise: WHO Highlights The Search For Alternatives To Minimize Transmission