New research shows that young people living with HIV suffer fewer virus-related symptoms when they’re able to map out their own long-term health goals. Data also found that when this type of planning, referred to as end-of-life care, isn’t mapped out by the youth or a family member, young people living with HIV are more likely to suffer negative health outcomes.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, evaluated 105 mostly black adolescents (93 percent African-Americans) aged 14 to 21 and their families who received care from six U.S. hospital-based HIV clinics between July 2011 and June 2014. One-third of the family participants were also poz themselves.
Lead investigator Maureen E. Lyon, a clinical health psychologist at Children’s National Health System at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., tested an intervention known as Family Centered pediatric Advance Care Planning (FACE pACP). In one-hour sessions, one group of youths and their families went through advance care planning, while another group received traditional assessments.
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From Reuters Health…
Last month U.S. regulators said a pill that helps prevent infection with HIV is safe for use by adolescents, and a study suggests most physicians would be willing to prescribe this medicine to teens.
So-called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with Truvada, a daily pill combining the medicines tenofovir and emtricitabine, can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by up to 90 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Truvada has long been used to treat HIV and as a prevention strategy for adults.
The current study was conducted between October 2016 and January 2017, before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved PrEP for teens who weigh at least 35 kg (77 pounds).
Researchers surveyed 162 doctors who worked with adolescents and young adults. While 93 percent of the clinicians had heard of PrEP, only 35 percent had prescribed it.
About 65 percent of the survey participants said they would be willing to prescribe PrEP to adolescents, and another 19 percent were willing to refer teens to another clinician for the prescription.
Among those who were unwilling to prescribe it themselves, about two-thirds said they would prescribe it for teens if it had FDA approval for these patients.
“Everyone, including adolescents, should know whether they could benefit from PrEP,” said lead study author Dr. Geoffrey Hart-Cooper, a pediatrician at Stanford Children’s Health and a HIV prevention specialist at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
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