SOURCE: Fenway Health

Fenway Health

December 21, 2010 09:00 ET

Fenway Health Releases Follow Up Guidance to Groundbreaking HIV Prevention Study

Follow Up to NEJM Article Gives Physicians Interim Tools to Support Patients

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 21, 2010) - Fenway Health, one of only two United States sites to participate in a groundbreaking study on pre-exposure prevention of HIV via a daily antiviral pill, announced today that it has released interim guidelines for prescribing and supporting patients seeking more information on pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP). The findings will be posted on The Fenway Institute's web site, and disseminated through local and national provider groups.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that individuals at high risk for HIV infection who took a single daily tablet containing two widely used HIV medications experienced an average of 43.8 percent fewer HIV infections than those who were assigned to take a placebo pill. The study is the first evidence that this new HIV prevention method, called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, reduces HIV infection in people at increased risk of infection and is the biggest step forward in preventing new transmissions in approximately 18 years.

As this study is the first published on this novel approach to HIV prevention, clinicians at The Fenway Institute expected that it would be likely that physicians would be approached by patients requesting PrEP for HIV prevention. The guidance was prepared for clinicians to use prior to the development of guidelines by any government agencies or professional societies.

Among the critical components of the guidance are recommendations regarding HIV counseling and testing, and a strong recommendation that PrEP prescriptions should also be provided in conjunction with other known HIV prevention messages and counseling. 

The recommendations review the appropriate regimen for writing scripts, information about potential interactions and side effects, and guidelines for follow up once the treatment is initiated, including HIV counseling and testing every 3-6 months. 

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About Fenway Health and The Fenway Institute

For nearly forty years, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway's Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center is dedicated to providing the best quality health care for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else. More about all of our programs and services can be found at www.fenwayhealth.org.

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