The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV), and National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) have jointly released a policy statement recommending that systems be established to ensure that survivors of sexual assault have universal access to medications to prevent HIV following rape.
ANAC, IAFN, NAESV and NSVRC are seeking endorsements of this position statement. A brief version of the statement is included below. To read the full position statement, please go to www.nursesinaidscare/nPEP2013.
We believe that globally, systems should be in place to support universal access to nPEP for all people who have been sexually assaulted. Further, we recognize that creating universal access is only a first step. Economic barriers must be addressed to ensure that individuals are able to fully access nPEP and that their healthcare providers and organizations are able to provide it. Access to anti-HIV medication should not depend on cooperation with law enforcement or be restricted by other economic, political, or social factors. Additionally, we recognize the importance of a collaborative, trauma-informed approach to HIV counseling, testing, and treatment that includes skilled healthcare providers and sexual assault advocates. Ample training, funding, and supports should be provided to these critical providers to ensure that universal access to nPEP is within reach of every survivor and that every survivor is supported in making an informed choice about whether or not this regimen is the best option for them. Recognizing these issues, we recommend that:
1. Health care providers treating sexual assault patients include HIV risk assessment and potential prophylaxis as a standard component of the medical-forensic examination.
2. Anti-HIV medications be available where and when patients present after sexual assault.
3. People who have been sexually assaulted not be expected to carry the financial burden for HIV nPEP.
4. People who have been sexually assaulted have access to advocacy and supportive services before, during and after HIV testing and nPEP provision.