Notwithstanding its status as the nation’s premier promoter of Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis use, San Francisco is seeing its health care providers conduct insufficient screening tests for those going on and using PrEP, aidsmap reports.
According to prescription guidelines, clinicians are supposed to test an individual for HIV before starting him or her on PrEP and conduct HIV testing every three months thereafter. Guidelines also recommend testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) before prescribing PrEP to a patient and at least twice a year after that. PrEP advocates have urged more frequent testing among high-risk groups.
PrEP does not protect against STIs, and research indicates that individuals on Truvada for prevention contract such infections at very high rates.
Publishing their findings in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, researchers studied data on 405 people who received PrEP from 15 primary care providers in San Francisco between 2013 and 2017.
Seventy-seven percent of the study subjects received an initial HIV test before starting PrEP and 81 percent received initial STI testing. Of the HIV and STI tests expected according to PrEP guidelines while individuals were on Truvada for prevention, clinicians conducted a respective 68 percent and 67 percent.
For each cumulative 100 years that the study group was followed, there were 24 STI diagnoses among them.
To read the aidsmap article, click here.
To read the study, click here.