Catch up with the news and other key moments from the AMA House of Delegates’ meeting in Chicago. The 2019 AMA Annual Meeting wrapped up on June 12.
Thursday, June 13
Prison inmates and staff should get more health education, training. Poor health outcomes are rampant in U.S. jails and prisons, thanks to subpar hand hygiene, oral health and other factors. The AMA, in a vote yesterday, also backed giving incarcerated women access to contraception. Read more.
Doctors back funding plans to end HIV epidemic. In a strong show of support for major action to “end the epidemic of HIV nationally,” delegates yesterday voted to advocate funding plans that focus on:
- Diagnosing individuals with HIV infection as early as possible.
- Treating HIV infection to achieve sustained viral suppression.
- Preventing at-risk individuals from acquiring HIV infection, including through the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
- Rapidly detecting and responding to emerging clusters of HIV infection to prevent transmission.
In a separate action, AMA delegates took action to address the 32 states and two U.S. territories that have punitive laws criminalizing individuals who fail to disclose HIV status to sexual partners.
“Current criminalization laws are outdated and do not reflect the current science of HIV transmission or the fact that HIV is a chronic, but manageable medical condition—particularly since nondisclosure of other infectious diseases is not criminalized,” said AMA Board Member E. Scott Ferguson, MD.
People with HIV who take antiretroviral therapy medication as prescribed and are able to get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partners.
In light of that, delegates adopted new policy to:
- Advocate for repeal of legislation that criminalizes nondisclosure of HIV status for people living with HIV.
- Work with other stakeholders to develop a program whose primary goal is to destigmatize HIV infection through educating the public, physicians and other health care professionals on current medical advances in HIV treatment that minimize the risk of transmission due to viral load suppression and the availability of PrEP.