More than 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV and nearly 1 in 8 (12.8%) are unaware of their status. The incidence has been consistently around 50,000 new infections per year and of those newly diagnosed, the men who have sex with men (MSM) population carries the largest burden. Federal costs continue to rise for HIV/AIDS treatment nationally and this continues to represent a significant portion of healthcare costs here in Vermont. More needs to be done to prevent this chronic illness.
In 2012 the FDA approved a medication for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): Truvada. There is clear evidence of its effectiveness at preventing HIV infection in HIV-negative individuals through multiple clinical trials and it has been well tolerated by patients who have taken it.
Despite these facts, the general public, individuals at higher risk for becoming infected with HIV, and primary care providers have limited awareness of this powerful tool to reduce and perhaps eliminate new infections in Vermont. The most recent estimate of the number of providers who have prescribed PrEP, not including Planned Parenthood, is only nine.
Our proposed efforts target these unaware populations, beginning with primary care providers, by increasing awareness and education about PrEP statewide. This intervention is in line with current statewide campaigns to reduce the annual incidence of new HIV infections to zero in the coming years.
Mountain Health Center, Bristol, VT
HIV, HIV prevention, PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, Truvada, Vermont
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Medical Education | Primary Care
Bonenfant, Nicholas Robert, "Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention: a community-based approach to increased awareness among Vermont primary care providers" (2015). Family Medicine Clerkship Student Projects. 109.