Council researcher Nanlesta Pilgrim writes about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s recent decision to expand the approval of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV for use in at-risk adolescents and the continued need to improve services for adolescents, in the U.S. and around the world.
Globally, HIV preventive efforts has been increasingly focused on adolescents due to high rates of HIV in this group; in 2015, an estimated 29 adolescents acquired HIV every hour and adolescents are the only age group in which AIDS-related deaths have not decreased. Pilgrim breaks down what this latest move by the FDA means and how the global community can build on it to ensure adoelscents have full access to PrEP worldwide.
Adolescents—both in the United States and the world over—are reluctant to access sexual and reproductive health and HIV preventive services due to perceived and experienced poor quality of care. For example, adolescents have reported experiencing stigma and discrimination (e.g., criticized for having sex or having a certain sexual orientation), poor provider-adolescent communication, no privacy and confidentiality, and other issues when seeking services. In fact, recent research shows that providers with negative attitudes toward adolescents engaging in sexual intercourse were not even willing to prescribe PrEP to them.
In the age of PrEP, we have an opportunity and obligation to improve services for adolescents in the United States and around the world. In looking at some of the latest research, where should we prioritize our efforts?
Read more at POZ.