Updating D.C.’s HIV Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan for PrEP

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Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV is a newly available prevention option for individuals at risk of acquiring HIV. If policies are put in place to direct PrEP access and use towards those most at risk, PrEP has the potential to reduce the number of individuals at risk of HIV in the U.S., saving hundreds to thousands of people in the country from a lifetime of HIV treatment. Washington D.C. is one city which will benefit from PrEP, but has yet to establish policies for PrEP access. In Washington D.C., 2.7% of the population is infected with HIV, and in 2012, it is estimated that 835 people were newly infected with the virus.

In July of 2015, the White House released updates to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, calling for “Full access to comprehensive PrEP services for those whom it is appropriate and desired.” D.C.’s Department of Health, alongside the city’s HIV Prevention Planning Group, should update the city’s Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan to include specific objectives for increasing access to PrEP. Objectives should include strategies for partnering with healthcare providers and community groups, such as the Whitman Walker Clinic and the DC Center HIV Working Group, which can provide information to at risk individuals and offer PrEP prescriptions. Targets for the number of prescriptions and methods for measuring access and use should also be put in place to measure the effectiveness of the policy and allow for adjustments. These are just the first vital steps to adopting this exciting new prevention option.

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One Response to “Updating D.C.’s HIV Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan for PrEP”

  1. wilsonmonifa Says:

    This issue is indeed a very important initiative because the use of Prep has now been considered an important element in the fight against HIV. However the fear is that the medication needs to reach the people who are in greatest need financially and at greatest risk for getting the disease.

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