• WPSI Accepting Public Comments on New Draft Recommendations

    Topics Include Contraception and HIV Infection

    November 9, 2021, 8:45 a.m. News Staff — The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative, a longstanding partner organization with the Academy, is accepting public comments for two new draft recommendations.

    female physician with young female patient

    Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PT on Nov. 24. All AAFP members are invited to participate, as are members of the general public.

    Those interested in submitting comments are encouraged to view the initiative’s Guidelines on Public Comment webpage before reviewing the recommendations.

    Comments for Review

    The latest draft recommendations from the initiative address two clinical topics:

    For contraception, the WPSI recommends that adolescent and adult women have access to the full range of contraceptives and contraceptive care to prevent unintended pregnancies and improve health outcomes. The initiative defines contraceptive care to include screening, education, counseling and provision of contraceptive methods (including in the immediate postpartum period), as well as followup care such as management, evaluation and changes including the removal, continuation and discontinuation of the contraceptive method.

    Story Highlights

    The initiative also recommends that the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives, effective family planning practices and sterilization procedures be available as part of contraceptive care.

    In addition, the WPSI recommends

    • providing alternative contraceptives when a particular drug or device is not tolerated or is inappropriate;
    • removal of preapproval requirements for contraceptive care, including in the immediate postpartum period;
    • providing emergency contraception for those who may benefit, with the provision of emergency contraception not limited to specific scenarios;
    • contraceptive counseling that emphasizes patient-centered decision-making and allows for discussion of the full range of contraceptive options; and
    • additional research on the effectiveness of different types of information sources on contraception and family planning decisions, patient experiences with contraceptive care, and ways to expand access to contraceptives.

    For HIV infection, the WPSI recommends that all adolescent and adult women ages 15 years and older receive a screening test for HIV infection at least once during their lifetime. Earlier or additional screening should be based on risk, and rescreening annually or more often may be appropriate beginning at age 13 for those at increased risk for infection.

    The WPSI also recommends offering risk assessment and prevention education for HIV infection beginning at age 13 and continuing as determined by risk.

    For pregnant women, the WPSI recommends a screening test upon initiation of prenatal care, with rescreening during pregnancy based on risk factors. For pregnant women who present in labor with an undocumented HIV status, rapid HIV testing is recommended.

    The WPSI also recommends additional research on the long-term adverse effects of antiretroviral therapy on adolescents and women, and on the effectiveness of optimal screening intervals for HIV at various ages and for different risk groups; repeat or alternative screening strategies during pregnancy; and risk assessment strategies in predicting HIV incidence relevant to screening.

    How to Comment

    Individuals may leave comments by clicking the links to each recommendation listed above or by visiting the WPSI’s draft recommendations page.

    Once the public comment period has closed, the initiative’s multidisciplinary steering committee will review the comments submitted as it prepares a final draft. The AAFP is a participating organization on the committee.

    The final draft recommendations will then be submitted to the Health Resources & Services Administration for review and inclusion under the administration’s Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines. If adopted, the recommendations will help ensure that women receive comprehensive preventive services without having to pay a co-payment, co-insurance or deductible.

    About WPSI

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists launched WPSI in March 2016. Since then, it has engaged with several national health professional organizations, consumer groups and patient advocates with expertise in women’s health to develop, review and update recommendations for women’s preventive health care services.

    The Initiative has published several recommendations on women’s health topics since its inception. Other recently published resources include a 2021 well-woman chart and an FAQ for Telehealth Services document to assist clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.