DAF updates HIV prevention medication guidance; aviators to see reduced 'no fly' time

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The Department of the Air Force Medical Standards Working Group made updates to the official Air Force Aerospace Medicine Approved Medication Lists and the Medical Standards Directory, removing certain barriers for Airmen and Guardians taking HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

HIV PrEP is a preventative medication used by HIV-negative individuals to reduce the risk of becoming infected. According to the CDC, HIV PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV when taken as prescribed and reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%.

Aviators seeking to use HIV PrEP can expect to see a “no fly” time decrease from 30 days to 14 days when initiating the medication. The service has also eliminated the waiver requirement for aircrew taking PrEP. For aviators already taking PrEP and flying on a waiver, no renewal is required.

“We have always been in alignment with CDC guidelines for PrEP, but by reducing the time on duty restriction this change will enhance readiness and help retain servicemembers,” said Col. Rich Kipp, chief of the medical standards division. “Members of the working group determined the waiver was not necessary, given Air Force review of safety data over the last five years demonstrated it was safe to reduce the duty restriction time.”

This policy was identified as a barrier to service by the DAF LGBTQ+ Initiative Team (LIT) - one of the Department of the Air Force’s Barrier Analysis Working Groups.

All servicemembers and their beneficiaries should discuss the need or desire to take PrEP with their physicians, regardless of sexual activity. Open communications between a member and their care team are fundamental to the overall health of our force and long-term readiness.