2018 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
March 6, 2018 – A new CDC analysis suggests HIV prevention pill is not reaching most Americans who could benefit – especially people of color.
In the first detailed analysis by race and by risk group, CDC researchers found that only a small percentage of Americans who could potentially benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily HIV prevention pill, have been prescribed it. Furthermore, while two-thirds of people who could potentially benefit are African American or Latino, they account for the smallest percentage of prescriptions to date. The findings were presented today at the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston by Dawn K. Smith, MD, MPH, MS, epidemiologist and medical officer in CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. Dr. Smith presented the new CDC estimates of PrEP needs and an examination of available data on PrEP prescriptions from a national database of prescriptions filled by commercial pharmacies in the United States.
Additionally, two CDC poster presentations illustrated research that found syringe services programs (SSPs) decreased injection-related risk behaviors, increased uptake of other key testing and prevention services, and increased disposal of syringes safely in a community experiencing a rapidly spreading HIV outbreak among people who inject drugs (PWID).
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“Closing gaps is an important step for PrEP. CDC is committed to equipping providers and all people living with and at risk for HIV with the information and support needed to maximize the impact of PrEP and all proven strategies.”