Saturday December 1, 2018 is the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day.
The theme for this year is “Know Your Status.”
With improved education resources available and the increased access to HIV testing, today 3 in 4 people living with HIV know their status. While this is definitely an improvement, considering that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 36.9 million people worldwide living with HIV, this would suggest that 9,225,000 of these individuals still are not aware of their HIV status.
The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) have released statements regarding their recommendations for adolescents and adults aged 15-65, and pregnant women being screened for HIV. In addition, the USPSTF have also released a statement of recommendation regarding the use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in those considered at high risk of HIV acquisition. Each of these recommendations were given a grade “A” rating, indicating that the USPSTF recommends these services, recognizing a high degree of certainty that the net benefit is substantial.
So what does this have to do with your medications?
The role of your consultant pharmacist is not limited to helping you optimize how your medications are used. As a health professional, your pharmacist is available to consult with regarding determining if you may be at increased risk for HIV (and other conditions, too!). While respecting your privacy and confidentiality, we can educate you regarding what may place a person at increased risk for HIV-acquisition, and can refer you to a place that performs HIV-screening services. Many pharmacies (including Meijer Pharmacies in Michigan) now offer HIV-screening services; some at no cost to you! Your pharmacist can also review your medications and health-related information to help determine if there may be potential concerns regarding drug-drug or drug-disease interactions if PrEP were to be considered for you.
Reach out to your pharmacist! We are here to help you more than ever before!
Learn more about World AIDS Day here.