As per a recent statement this week by US Preventive Services Task Force, doctors can prevent people under high risk of acquiring HIV from getting the disease by offering them PrEP that is a pill called pre-exposure prophylaxis. The task force is an independent panel of experts that has been assigned to make recommendations to doctors that updated past guidelines by calling everyone between age group of 15 to 65 including pregnant women and others individuals that are at risk of HIV to encourage them to screen for the virus. Screening for HIV is necessary because like the flu virus it also does not show any signs of disease for several years said the taskforce in a new statement. Both these statements were published in Journal of American Medical Association. HIV is incurable and a life-long disease that attacks immune systems with long term health consequences.
The virus is now treated with combination of drugs called as antiretroviral therapy that cuts down amount of virus in the individual’s blood and can be prevented by using drug PrEP that had been approved by FDA way back in 2012. Though around 1.1 million Americans are now living with HIV nearly 15 percent of them are not even aware that they have it. During early part of 2019 US Dept. of Health and Human Services announced a new initiative for cutting down HIV in USA by 90 percent within next 10 years. To make this dream a reality the dept. will focus on 48 counties across the country with highest levels of HIV and Seven states Missouri, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama and South Carolina with highest HIV rates in rural areas were selected like San Juan, Washington, DC and Puerto. People with HIV that maintain their viral suppression with treatments did not contribute to new infections say CDC scientists.