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HIV Prophylaxis Now Available To Conn. Minors Without Parental Consent

NIAID via HIV.gov
Single pills (brand name Truvada) containing two antiretroviral drugs, emtricitabine (TFC) and tenofovir disoproxyl fumarate (TDF), used for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

Connecticut minors are now able to obtain HIV prevention medication without parental consent. But keeping that secret from their parents might be a challenge.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, is effective in preventing HIV.

Dr. Krystn Wagner, infectious disease specialist at Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven, says it’s critical for pediatricians to have a trusting relationship with their patients and to know when PrEP can benefit them.

“Currently, the majority of infections are among minority gay and bisexual male youth, so you have to have that information about your patient. You have to know their sexual orientation, gender identity, and have conversations about their sexual health. If you don’t have those conversations, you won’t know that PrEP is indicated.”

Minors who receive PrEP need to see their clinical provider every three months for refills and follow-ups. Wagner says it can be expensive and revealing.

“Because of statements with explanation of benefits, because of deductibles, and all of that information going back to the primary insurance holder – which is usually the parent – they very well may be outed in the process.”

If they don't want to disclose their sexual orientation though, they could be responsible for thousands of dollars a year in medication costs. Wagner says minors would have an easier process on Medicaid.