Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV in the SOF Environment
Special Operations Forces (SOF), both medical and non-medical, have the opportunity to operate in isolated areas while being exposed to a variety of infectious agents. Although the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States military deployed population can be assumed to be nearly zero, experience has shown that our forces are often exposed to populations where the HIV rates can be extremely high or unknown and personal protective measures may not be available. Compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is the policy in place for most if not all major military commands. These recommendations are predicated on the fact that the highly active antiretroviral therapy is available in the proposed time frame. Using the Air Force as an example, this article looks at availability of anti-HIV medications on allowance standards. Of a possible 133 allowance standards listed with the United States Air Force Medical Logistics Organization (AFMLO), only 15 (11.27%) contain one or more of the available antiretroviral medications at the time of review. Although these highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) medications are not very heat stable and may lose effectiveness when exposed to temperature extremes, it is possible for an individual medic to carry enough medicine to comply with CDC recommendations without significant increase in “weight and cube” packing allowances.
Published In/Presented At
Bruno, EC, Antonacci, MA, and Link, PL. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV in the SOF Environment. Journal of Special Operations Medicine, 6 (1) Winter 2006
Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty