Last week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued draft Grade A recommendation statements on HIV screening and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), concluding that clinicians should screen for HIV in adolescents, adults, and pregnant women and offer PrEP to people at high risk for HIV. Before finalizing the recommendations, the USPSTF is inviting public comments on the draft statements until December 26, 2018.
For the first time, the Task Force recommends that clinicians offer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—a daily pill that helps prevent HIV—to people at high risk of HIV. The Task Force recommends that men who have sex with men as well as heterosexual women and men whose sexual behavior, sex partners, or drug use place them at high risk of contracting HIV be considered for PrEP, specifically those with partners living with HIV, those with multiple partners not using condoms, and those who inject drugs and share injecting equipment. Read the draft recommendations on preventing HIV with pre-exposure prophylaxis.
HIV Screening Recommendations
Based on its review of the latest evidence, the Task Force, once again, recommends that clinicians screen everyone ages 15 to 65 years and all pregnant women for HIV. People younger than age 15 years or older than age 65 years should also be screened if they are at increased risk for HIV, according to the draft recommendation. The USPSTF also recommends that clinicians screen for HIV infection in all pregnant women, including those who present in labor or at delivery whose HIV status is unknown. Read the draft recommendations on HIV screening.
What is the USPSTF?
Working to improve the health of all Americans, the USPSTF is an independent panel of non-Federal experts that makes recommendations on clinical preventive services, such as screenings, counseling, and preventive medications, to primary care clinicians. The USPSTF bases its recommendations on a rigorous, systematic review of peer-reviewed evidence, critique by subject matter experts, and public comment. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been authorized by the U.S. Congress to convene the Task Force and to provide ongoing scientific, administrative, and dissemination support to the Task Force.
Public Comments and Finalizing the Recommendations
The draft HIV screening and prevention recommendation statements and the draft evidence reviews the recommendations are based on are available for review and public comment until December 26, 2018. Prior to its final vote on whether to ratify the recommendations, the Task Force will review the public comments on the draft recommendations. If a recommendation is ratified, the final recommendation and evidence summary are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and all recommendations and supporting evidence reviews are posted on the Task Force Web site.
- Review the USPSTF Bulletin about the draft HIV screening and prevention recommendations (PDF, 570 KB).
- Submit public comments online until December 26, 2018.