The American Medical Association (AMA) announced new policies addressing the need for better education of physicians on the effective use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV acquisition in high-risk individuals. 

PrEP, which consists of emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TruvadaGilead), is a once-daily prophylactic for HIV-negative men and women to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted HIV. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2012 but a recent 2015 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 34% of primary care doctors and nurses had never heard of PrEP. The 2014 guidelines from the U.S. Public Health Service recommended PrEP as prevention in high-risk individuals and warned that high adherence is critical to PrEP efficacy.

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The AMA adopted 2 additional policies related to PrEP:

  • The AMA will advocate that all insurers be required to cover the costs associated with the administration of PrEP
  • The AMA will work with government officials to study the feasibility of providing PrEP free of charge to high-risk individuals

AMA Board Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, noted, “Educating physicians about the effective use of PrEP and encouraging insurers to cover the costs associated with its administration will make the transmission of HIV rarer and our nation healthier.”

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