The Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH) has released guidance for medical providers regarding the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection. PrEP is a method by which someone who is HIV negative, but at high risk for acquiring HIV, can prevent HIV infection by taking a pill once a day.
The pill, which goes by the brand name Truvada, is actually a combination of two HIV-treatment medications: tenofovir and emtricitabine. Although Truvada is used in addition to other medications to treat HIV infection for people who are HIV positive, it also has been proven very effective to prevent HIV in those who are not infected. When Truvada is taken daily by someone who is HIV negative, it can prevent HIV infection by over 90 percent.
In May 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released comprehensive clinical guidelines for PrEP. The Wisconsin guidance supplements CDC’s recommendations and is intended for health care professionals (physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and other health care workers) who are assisting patients interested or engaged in PrEP. The guide includes recommendations for patient education, financial information and resources, and a tool to assist patients in assessing their appropriateness for PrEP. The guide is available on the Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Program website under the tab “Resources for Clinicians.” Click here to access it.
DPH strongly supports the use of PrEP for those who are at substantial risk for acquiring HIV infection, including men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sexual partners who are HIV infected. For questions regarding PrEP, contact Kathleen Krchnavek with the DPH at 608.267.3583 or by e-mail.
Additional information about PrEP also is available in a commentary published in the February issue of WMJ. Click here to access “Pre-exposure Prophylaxis in Primary Care—A New Era in HIV Prevention.” WMJ is a peer-reviewed, indexed scientific journal published six times a year by the Wisconsin Medical Society.
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