Although the incidence of HIV is declining, the prevalence of HIV infection and those living with the virus remains an issue. In the United States, approximately 1.1 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS, and 38,739 new cases of HIV infection were reported in 2017. A majority of those cases are in men, aged 25 to 45 years, and men who have sex with men (MSM) and are disproportionately prevalent in communities of color, specifically black and African American. Worldwide, there are 1 million new sexually transmitted infections daily. Sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, sex/gender identity, and geographic location have a direct impact on the risk of HIV acquisition.
Understanding an individual’s risk helps to make the right decision regarding HIV prevention strategies. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) therapy includes taking an antiretroviral medication used in conjunction with harm reduction strategies to prevent HIV. PrEP is a vital component of the HIV care continuum that can help drastically reduce the number of new HIV infections.
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