Pre-exposure prophylaxis, sometimes referred to as PrEP, is a medication that helps prevent HIV infection. PrEP is particularly effective in preventing new HIV infections because of how closely its efficacy relates to adherence. The pill shows high protection against HIV daily and is more effective when used with condoms and other HIV prevention methods. It is advised that those who take PrEP regularly schedule follow-up appointments and prescription renewals with their doctors within three months.
Over the past ten years, in countries like Canada and the USA, the proportion of HIV diagnoses among so-called "priority groups," including gays, bisexuals, residents of HIV-endemic areas, Indigenous peoples, transgender people, and drug users, has remained largely stable. The success of these initiatives has been limited even though efforts to design behavioral interventions to lower the HIV infection rates in the groups mentioned above of people. Due to condom accessibility issues and personal condom aversion, assessments of risk mitigation techniques based on their application frequently show low adoption, which reduces the effectiveness of this strategy for HIV prevention.
As a result, PrEP was developed to lessen the chance that people with high infection risks would get HIV. PrEP is an antiretroviral drug that can be used to treat HIV or to prevent HIV in those who test negative for the virus. PrEP has been demonstrated to lower the risk of HIV reinfection by up to—and maybe more than—99% when taken as recommended. Despite the established effectiveness of PrEP, uptake and retention rates among those at high risk of contracting HIV have been inconsistent, leading to little to no reductions in HIV incidence throughout most developed nations. The fact that HIV diagnosis rates have not changed indicates that further research is required to understand better patients' justifications for starting PrEP and engaging in care.
According to research on the efficacy of PrEP, the risk of getting HIV infection is approximately 92% lower for those who took the medicines consistently, alongside those who didn't. At the same time, some people who participated in the clinical trials of PrEP showed early side effects, including stomach upsets, loss of appetite, or mild headaches. However, these symptoms were all mild and often disappeared after the first month.
Suppose a person's insurance does not normally cover PrEP. In that case, their healthcare professionals can point them toward a pharmaceutical assistance program to help them pay for the medication. For further useful information, one may also get in touch with their local HIV and AIDS Service Organizations and Health Department.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a prescription medicine that can be used to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection when used together with safer sex practices.