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Clinician's Corner

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Course Available Now – Preventing HIV Infection in the Primary Care Setting: The Role of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV to help prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, PrEP can help stop the virus from establishing a permanent infection. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published updated practice guidelines recommending the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) with daily oral dosing of tenofovir/emtricitabine to help prevent HIV infection in people at high risk:

For sexual transmission, this includes anyone who is in an ongoing relationship with an HIV-positive partner. It also includes anyone who is not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-negative, and is a:

  • Gay or bisexual man who has had anal sex without a condom or been diagnosed with an STD in the past 6 months; or
  • Heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms during sex with partners of unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk of HIV infection (e.g., people who inject drugs or have bisexual male partners).

For people who inject drugs, this includes those who have injected illicit drugs in the past and who have shared injection equipment or been in drug treatment for injection drug use in the past 6 months.

Because some primary care providers may not know about PrEP yet, the patients with the greatest need for this intervention may not be reached. CDC’s CME course was designed to better prepare primary care providers to administer PrEP as an HIV prevention intervention.

The CME course, released in 2016, discusses the use of PrEP in the primary care setting, including patient assessment and management, CDC guidelines, and tips for incorporating this learning into practice. Visit Medscape Education Public Health & Prevention to enroll in the latest course.