As part of the activities of the prevention program “Prevention of HIV / AIDS infection” initiated by the sections of hygiene and health prevention, measures were taken to promote behaviors and attitudes among young people that will protect against HIV infection.
The specific objectives of the program include: increasing the level of knowledge of adolescents in the field of HIV / AIDS, increasing the ability to assess risky and safe behaviors in the prevention of HIV / AIDS, developing the ability to say “no” in uncomfortable situations; as well as making young people aware that by protecting the most important values in their lives, they also protect themselves.
How to reduce the risk of HIV infection?
HIV infections have decreased in recent years, but there is still no effective way to cure them completely. Therefore, the focus was on developing a preventive method. It is pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV infection – PrEP. Thanks to this method, there are opportunities for effective prevention against HIV infection. It is a particularly important method for people who belong to the group at higher risk of getting infected. So what exactly is PrEP prophylaxis and who can get it?
What exactly is PrEP?
PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) is a method of prophylaxis that involves taking medicines to reduce the risk of getting HIV. However, to be effective, they should be taken when the patient is healthy or immediately after exposure. One tablet contains the antiretroviral drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir, which reduce the transmission and replication of the virus, which greatly reduces the risk of infection. In addition, emtricitabine and tenofovir prevent the virus from entering the bloodstream and preventing its chronic development in the body.
How are drugs used?
One of the options for PrEP prophylaxis is continuous therapy, in which you should take the tablet once a day. As a result, the concentration of active substances designed to protect the body against HIV infection will be at an appropriate level. Do not forget the recommended dose and stop taking the drug without consulting your doctor, as this may lead to ineffectiveness of the therapy.
There is also a second regimen of HIV prophylaxis with emtricitabine and tenofovir, which involves the use of reliever medication (PrEP reliever). However, for this to be as effective as with regular intake (continuous PrEP), you should take a double dose of the drug two hours before intercourse and then 1 tablet at 24 and 48 hours after the first dose.
Studies have shown that PrEP should be taken daily for 4-7 days to achieve protection.
Who is the PrEP method for? Pre-exposure prophylaxis should be used in justified cases in people whose risk of HIV infection is much higher, e.g. due to the lack of protection during intercourse, taking drugs or maintaining close sexual contact with many partners.
In addition, it is a method that allows you to safely try for offspring when one of the partners is HIV-positive. It is very important that the patient has a serological test to rule out viral infection and the diagnosis of other sexually transmitted diseases before starting treatment. In addition, tests prior to the initiation of PrEP therapy should assess the health of the kidneys and liver.