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PrEP treatment can help to reduce the prevalence of HIV infections

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • There were 6,300 new cases of HIV infection reported in 2018, meaning an average of 17 people per day contracted HIV. The annual fatality rate from the disease totals 18,000 people, or 50 death per day.
  • A method used in the prevention of HIV infection, PrEP involves administering antiviral drugs to those not yet infected with the virus in order to protect their chances of contracting the disease through contact with infected patients.
  • PrEP is an effective way to prevent HIV infection and should be used under the guidance of a doctor. It should be used in combination with condoms during sexual activity, as PrEP cannot prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.

PrEP treatment can help to reduce the prevalence of HIV infections

Due to the continuous rise in new HIV infections, coupled with the fact that there is still no cure for the disease, public health authorities everywhere are encouraging the population to protect themselves from the virus in the following ways: by using a condom during sex, avoiding frequently changing sexual partners, and being careful not to share needles with others. Currently, an increasing number of people are becoming interested in orally administered antiviral drugs before to HIV, or known as PrEP just one of technique for HIV prevention which can be used with other technique.

What is PrEP?

PrEP is an acronym of pre-exposure prophylaxis. The protection involves uninfected people taking oral antiviral drugs that offer protection against contracting the HIV virus prior to placing themselves at risk of infection.

Who is PrEP suited to?

PrEP is suitable for people who are continuously at risk or are placed at risk of contracting the HIV virus during certain times, including the following groups:

  • People with partners who are HIV positive, those with partners who are awaiting HIV treatment, or those with partners who are currently undergoing HIV treatment and therefore harbor the virus in the bloodstream.
  • People with partners who are HIV positive and unable to wear a condom when engaging in sexual intercourse.
  • Those who frequently request post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)* and are unable to reduce those high-risk behaviors.
  • Males who have sex with other males.
  • Male or female sex workers.
  • People who regularly inject illicit substances or have injected within the past 6 months.
  • People who have had a sexually transmitted disease within the past 6 months.

* Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an emergency form of medication given to people within 72 hours of being exposed to the risk of infection, while the medication should then be taken daily for a period of 28 days. It is usually provided to people who have experienced a medical injury or incident, such as coming into contact with the blood or secretions of someone who is HIV positive, having unprotected sex with someone who may be HIV positive, or having been sexually assaulted by someone with HIV.

What checks must be carried out prior to PrEP treatment?

HIV screening and numerous other blood tests must be carried out prior to PrEP treatment, including liver and kidney function analysis. Once the initial round of PrEP has been administered, the doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to ensure they can monitor the patient’s symptoms and carry out additional blood tests every 1–3 months until the medication is discontinued.

Instructions related to the taking of PrEP medication

Patients should take one tablet per day after eating. Tablets should be taken at the same time each day and continued throughout the period for which patients are at risk of contracting the disease. Patients should begin taking the medication at least 7 days prior to the risk period and continue taking the drugs for at least 4 weeks subsequent to the end of the risk period.

Another schedule involves the taking of two tablets 2–4 hours prior to the risk period beginning, with a further two tablets to be taken later, one at 24 hours and one at 48 hours after the risk period ends. This method is referred to as on-demand PrEP and is not generally the standard practice involving these drugs.

PrEP medication should only be taken under the supervision of a medical professional as regular blood tests must be carried out. The patient must be monitored for the occurrence of negative side effects, including short-term symptoms such as dizziness and nausea, as well as long-term symptoms affecting bones and kidneys. Although PrEP is an effective way to protect a person from contracting the HIV virus, recipients should always be sure to wear condoms during sex since PrEP does not offer protection against other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea.


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