The USPSTF also said doctors should be screening all patients, aged 15 to 65, for H.I.V., a recommendation first announced in 2013.
"About 40,000 people are diagnosed with H.I.V. each year. This is why the Task Force, once again, calls for universal screening for H.I.V. in adolescents and adults ages 15 to 65 years and in all pregnant women," USPSTF member John Epling added. "People deserve to know their HIV status so, if needed, they can start treatment early and live long, healthy lives."
Here are the patients at high risk of developing HIV, who should be prescribed PrEP, according to the panel:
- Anyone without H.I.V. who has an H.I.V.-positive sex partner
- Gay, bisexual or transgender men who have had any recent sexually transmitted infection
- Gay and bisexual men who do not use condoms consistently
- Heterosexual or transgender women who do not consistently use condoms with a high-risk sex partner, such as a bisexual man or someone who injects drugs
- Women who have had a recent STI
- Injecting drug users who share equipment
They acknowledged PrEP does have side effects, such as kidney problems and nausea, but they said the benefits of the drug outweigh the harms.
The experts also noted that PrEP helps prevent HIV but not other sexually transmitted infections. They said people who take PrEP should still use condoms and practice healthy habits that reduce the risk of other sexually transmitted infections.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently drafted a new set of recommendations that would for the first time urge doctors to offer a daily prophylactic pill to patients at risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus.