Role of Preexposure Prophylaxis in the Reproductive Health of Women at Risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

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Abstract

Women in the United States and especially women of color continue to acquire human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. During reproductive health visits, health care providers are ideally positioned to assess HIV risk and offer HIV prevention strategies, including preexposure prophylaxis (also known as “PrEP”), a once-daily fixed-dose combination of emtricitabine with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use to prevent HIV acquisition in persons at risk. Family planning, pregnancy, and postpartum visits provide an opportunity to ask sensitive questions about sexual and reproductive health and to help women navigate preference-sensitive decisions, including an individualized plan for HIV prevention. Exposure to a fixed-dose combination of emtricitabine with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate during pregnancy and breastfeeding appears to be safe with respect to maternal and infant outcomes. This article reviews the critical issues, challenges, and opportunities when implementing preexposure prophylaxis for women at risk for HIV who are seeking family planning services or pregnancy or postpartum care.

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