Physicians should offer HIV preventive meds to all at-risk individuals, panel says

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is encouraging physicians to offer preventive medication for individuals at high risk of contracting HIV, marking the first time the panel of medical experts proposed such a recommendation, reports The Washington Post.

 

While 1.2 million people are eligible to take a daily drug regimen to prevent HIV infection, only 78,360 people did in 2016, according to the task force's estimates. That same year, 40,000 people received new HIV diagnoses.

The task force said it hopes the recommendation will urge more physicians to discuss preventive medications with patients, which, at present, is not a common practice.

"It's just one of those things that haven't diffused all the way through primary care yet," John Epling, MD, a member of the task force and professor of community medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, told The Washington Post.

The task force also renewed its recommendation for all individuals ages 15 to 65 and pregnant women to receive HIV screenings. Both proposed recommendations are available for public comment until Dec. 26.

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