CDC releases guidelines for HIV preventive meds

May 16, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new set of comprehensive guidelines that recommends that physicians should consider prescribing antiretroviral medication to individuals who are not infected with HIV but are at high risk of infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new set of comprehensive guidelines that recommends that physicians should consider prescribing antiretroviral medication to individuals who are not infected with HIV but are at high risk of infection, news@JAMA reported.

This approach is called "preexposure prophylaxis" (PrEP).This involves individuals who are not infected with HIV taking daily antiretroviral drugs to prevent infection. Clinical studies have found this approach to dramatically reduce the chance of HIV infection in certain high-risk groups, such as men who have sex with men, people who are HIV negative but are in an ongoing relationship with a partner who is HIV positive, and people who use injection drugs.

"Preexposure prophylaxis is an interesting concept," said FormularyWatch advisor James M. Wooten, PharmD, associate professor, department of medicine, section of clinical pharmacology, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Back in July 2012, FDA approved once-daily oral emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada, Gilead Sciences), in combination with safer sex practices, to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection in adults at high risk. It was the first agent to be approved for HIV prevention in uninfected adults, the PrEP strategy.

according to FormularyWatch advisor James M. Wooten, PharmD, associate professor, department of medicine, section of clinical pharmacology, University of Missouri-Kansas City.  - See more at: http://formularyjournal.modernmedicine.com/formulary-journal/news/rx-errors-hiv-patients-can-be-reduced-pharmacists#sthash.NQlHVdmm.dpuf

"Obviously researchers are convinced that the risk of potential medication side effects is deemed less than the risk of acquiring HIV infection through high-risk behavior," Dr Wooten said. "With the CDC’s backing, these new guidelines are very important and practitioners must start offering this therapy to appropriate patients. This will probably also prove quite cost effective as well if this prophylactic therapy actually reduces the development of HIV in high-risk groups."

The recommendations include:

  • Individuals who are in an ongoing relationship with a partner known to be infected with HIV

  • Gay or bisexual men who have had sex without a condom or have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection within the past 6 months

  • Heterosexual men or women who have a high number of sexual partners, do not regularly use condoms, or have partners known to be at risk for HIV

  • People who use injection drugs

  • Commercial sex workers