May 14: HIV prevention, distracted driving, LRT (Dr. Julio Montaner)
The evidence supporting the use of Truvada for preventing HIV infection is well established, particularly for men who have sex with men. Clinical trials have demonstrated a protective effect over 90 per cent when used correctly. Use of PrEP is endorsed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the World Health Organization as a component of HIV prevention strategies, and it should in no way be considered a controversial intervention.
The majority of studies evaluating PrEP have not shown a link between use of PrEP and unsafe sexual practices. Increased rates of sexually transmitted infections in B.C. are not attributable to PrEP use, and in fact demonstrate the need for PrEP, as these infections are a marker for higher risk of acquiring HIV.
Affordability represents a barrier to PrEP access, and the majority of individuals using PrEP in B.C. have access through their private insurance. While this article suggests fewer than 10 individuals have had their coverage discontinued by Blue Cross, what is not mentioned is Blue Cross has been denying coverage of Truvada up front to a much larger number of people seeking access to PrEP.
Dr. Scott MacDonald, Providence Crosstown Clinic