In a bid to check the rise of deadly HIV/AIDS among the Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a set of guidelines that ask people, who are at high risk for contracting the AIDS causing Human Immunodeficiancy Virus (HIV), to take anti-HIV medicines that help in minimizing the transmission risk.
According to the federal health body, the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) approach is capable of reducing HIV infection rates in prior studies by as much as 90 percent if used consistently by the risk group.
The new set of guidelines has recommended the use of the PrEP regimen by the following groups:
- Anyone involved in an ongoing relationship with a HIV infected person
- Any gay or bisexual man who has had sex without a condom or who has been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STDs) within the past six months, and is not in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who recently tested HIV-negative
- A heterosexual person who does not always use condoms when having sex with people who might be at high risk for HIV (injection drug users or bisexual male partners whose HIV status is unknown) and is also not involved with an HIV-negative person in a mutually monogamous relationship
- Anyone who has abused injected, illicit drugs over the past six months, shared needles or other equipment tied to injected drug abuse, or been in a drug abuse treatment program.
“HIV infection is preventable, yet every year we see some 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States. PrEP, used along with other prevention strategies, has the potential to help at-risk individuals protect themselves and reduce new HIV infections in the United States.” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement released by the FDA.
Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, echoed similar sentiments about the new approach.
“While a vaccine or cure may one day end the HIV epidemic, PrEP is a powerful tool that has the potential to alter the course of the U.S. HIV epidemic today,” Mermin said.
The CDC guidelines were published in its journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on May 14.