Learn how a daily pill that protects up to 99% against HIV works

Photo: Disclosure/Samsa

Simple, free and really efficient in defending against the HIV virus. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, higher recognized by the acronym PrEP, is a methodology to stop HIV an infection that is gaining an increasing number of followers in Brazil.

  • A pill a day, out there by the Unified Health System (SUS), is in a position to put together the physique to take care of doable publicity to the virus and forestall it from infecting the physique;
  • In 4 years (2018-2021), greater than 52,500 individuals, a minimum of as soon as, had entry to PrEP in SUS, in accordance to the Ministry of Health;
  • The variety of HIV an infection instances in Brazil decreased by 11.1% between 2019 and 2021.

Experts level out that the prevention system is taken into account one of many elements chargeable for the discount in HIV instances in Brazil and contributes to bettering the standard of sexual life and the combat against prejudice in relation to AIDS, the illness attributable to the virus. .

What is PrEP?

It is a pill that combines two antiretroviral medication (tenofovir + emtricitabine). Inside the physique, they work to block the pathways that HIV makes use of to infect the physique.

Thus, the physique prepares itself to face doable contact with HIV, comparable to in sexual activity, for instance.

  • As of December 2017, PrEP has been distributed to 325 individuals in 11 states;
  • In December 2021, there have been roughly 30,000 PrEP customers in 26 states and the federal district;

Who can take it?
Those who usually are not contaminated with HIV and are at increased danger of publicity to the virus, comparable to those that have a number of companions or can not use condoms.

“PrEP is taken daily by people who find themselves at elevated danger of HIV an infection, comparable to individuals who can not use condoms, who’ve all the time had a sexually transmitted an infection (STI), or while you reside in a serodifferent relationship, the place one particular person has HIV and Others usually are not”, explains infectious illness skilled Vinicius Borges.

It can be indicated for homosexual males, transsexuals, intercourse staff, and people who regularly use PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis (maintain studying to perceive the distinction).

How to take PrEP?
If you’re within the indicated teams, it is crucial to seek the advice of a physician earlier than beginning the usage of the drug. That’s as a result of there are two methods to take it.

In the SUS, PrEP is often prescribed to be taken as soon as a day – and withdrawals of the drug, freed from cost, have to be made each three months. The protecting impact begins from the seventh day.

“You take a pill on daily basis and have an examination each 4 months”, says physician Vinicius Borges. “PrEP solely works on HIV, it would not stop different STIs”, he factors out.

According to the Ministry of Health, it isn’t obligatory to use PrEP repeatedly till the top of life. If a particular person’s life context adjustments, the particular person could cease or cease utilizing the drug. You also can resume the usage of prophylaxis.

Of greater than 29,900 PrEP customers in Brazil in December 2021, 41% stopped taking the drug in some unspecified time in the future, however then began once more.

Recently launched by the SUS, however already prescribed by non-public physicians, there may be additionally the so-called PrEP on demand: it adjustments the best way it’s taken, the identical size, within the “2+1+1” plan.

“It’s two drugs 2 to 24 hours earlier than intercourse, one pill 24 hours after the double dose and one pill 48 hours after the double dose. It is indicated just for cisgender homosexual and bisexual males, in accordance to the protocol of the World Health Organization (WHO), explains the infectologist.

The on-demand scheme is used extra by those that have much less weekly sexual contact and handle to plan their schedule, in accordance to the physician.

Photo: Fabio Silva/Secretary of Health of Contagion/Archive

And effectiveness?
According to infectologists, daily use of PrEP can present up to 99% safety against HIV in anal intercourse. In vaginal intercourse, the effectiveness of the drug is about 90%. In the on-demand scheme, the effectivity is up to 97%.

“It may be very efficient. Few instances of HIV an infection happen in individuals who don’t take the drugs correctly and develop into extra prone”, says Vinicius Borges.

Does PrEP Exclude Condoms?
not PrEP is a part of built-in prevention, a technique adopted by the Ministry of Health that brings collectively a number of strategies of HIV prevention tailor-made to every particular person’s wants.

For an infectologist, protecting measures usually are not unique, however an addition. He argues that prevention goes far past condoms.

“If condoms had been going to clear up the AIDS epidemic, they might have already solved it. Today, we’ve got to perceive that there are different choices for extra susceptible individuals, who can not all the time use condoms, and PrEP has proven a big influence”, says Borges.

According to the infectologist, PreP led to a new type of prevention that additionally helped finish sure fears surrounding HIV, notably within the homosexual and trans communities.

“HIV It can occur to anybody, however some teams mark it to today. […] We have gotten the primary era that is having intercourse with little or no worry due to these applied sciences out there to us”, says Vinicius Borges, who can be an skilled on LGBT+ well being.

What is the distinction between PrEP and PEP?
PEP is a prevention measure that is taken into account pressing, used after a potential danger of HIV an infection, comparable to within the case of:

  • sexual violence;
  • Unprotected sexual activity (with out utilizing or breaking a condom);
  • Occupational accident (direct contact with sharp instruments or organic materials).

In the case of PEP, additionally supplied free by SUS, there are two drugs. Treatment needs to be began inside the first two hours of publicity to HIV and no later than 72 hours for a 28-day interval.

Source: G1

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