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As a new drug in modern medicine today, PrEP is highly appreciated for its ability to reduce the risk of infection and prevent HIV disease. Today, Cfis.edu.vn will help you learn more about PrEP through the following article!
What is PrEP?
Abbreviated from the English phrase Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PreP means prevention treatment before HIV exposure, or more specifically explains the use of anti-HIV drugs for individuals. patients who are not HIV-negative but are at high risk for HIV infection.
With the combination of two antiviral drugs, 200mg Emtricitabine (FTC) and 300mg Tenofovir Disoproxil (TDF), PrEP will help prevent the entry and multiplication of the HIV virus, thereby making new copies. of the virus is not formed and limits HIV transmission.
Mechanism of protection of the drug PrEP
Normally, when entering the body, the virus or bacteria that causes disease will be prevented and destroyed by a special cell in the immune system called T-CD4. However, when the HIV virus enters the human body, they will disable the protective ability, break the T-CD4 envelope and multiply by itself billions of copies.
Over time, the body’s immune system will become weakened and cause many serious consequences for the body whenever an epidemic occurs. But with PrEP, CD4 T-cells will be protected, not exposed to the enzyme – a biological catalyst that helps the HIV virus create a new version and thereby help the body reduce the risk of infection. This.
Who should consider using PrEP
In general, the subjects who should consider using PrEP are those who are at high risk of HIV infection, in particular, the following subjects:
- People who have unprotected sex with someone who has injected drugs, used injecting equipment, or has been, is at high risk of HIV infection, or even has HIV without knowing it.
- A person who has been in a sexual relationship with the same person within a 6-month period.
- People who have been injecting themselves and using injection equipment.
- A person who has been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhea, genital herpes, syphilis, …
In addition, other subjects such as groups of people who have sex with men, sex workers or even minors, and women living in areas with high HIV prevalence are also considered victims of HIV infection. should consider using PrEP.
How to use PrEP
Currently, to use PrEP, you need to have a prescription from a doctor and use it in one of two ways:
- Taken every day: Used for all people at risk of HIV infection and effective up to 95%. In addition, according to the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, PrEP can also be taken daily as a way to prevent HIV for high-risk populations.
- Situational Drinking (ED-PrEP): Usually prescribed for men who have sex with men and only drinks less than 2 times a week on average. At the same time, taking this way should ensure that the drug is only used for about 2-24 hours before the person has sex.
In essence, PrEP is really just an antiviral drug that includes TDT/FTC or TDF/3TC like many everyday drugs. However, to promote the effectiveness of the drug, you should take 2 tablets continuously for the first dose before sex, then gradually increase the time to 24 hours after taking the 3rd dose and 48 hours after taking the second dose. 4.
Adverse effects of PrEP
So far, people who have used PrEP have not experienced any serious reactions. However, there are also some recorded cases where people taking PrEP drugs may experience dizziness, headache, feeling tired, stomachache, diarrhea, nausea, …
However, these effects will all go away after a few weeks of taking the medicine, but if the condition persists, you need to see your doctor right away. In addition, PrEP users also need to get tested every 3 months to make sure they are healthy and not infected with HIV.
Precautions when using PrEP
When using PrEP to prevent HIV, you need to keep the following points in mind:
- For people at risk of HIV transmission through blood or vaginal sex: The protective effect of PrEP is only maximally effective when taking full and continuous 21 days of ARV drugs, in addition, it is still necessary to take it. PrEP expires 28 days after last exposure.
- For men with anal sex: Only maximum effect after 7 days of taking PrEP continuously or taking 2 tablets of TDF/FTC 2-24 hours before sex, while still having to take PrEP 2 days after last intercourse.
In addition, users of PrEP should also note the following general things:
- PrEP in general is still only a part of the total HIV prevention strategy and cannot prevent diseases such as gonorrhea, genital warts, syphilis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, etc. You still need to use a condom properly during sex.
- PrEP must be taken exactly as prescribed and directed by your doctor.
- Side effects after taking PrEP may include mild dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, … and will go away after 1-2 weeks, if symptoms persist, you need to contact your doctor for a re-examination and advice. question.
Some frequently asked questions about PrEP
Is PrEP a vaccine?
A vaccine is a solution that stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies to fight off certain infections for a long time. In contrast, PrEP is a combination of two antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV exposure and needs to be taken every day. Therefore, PrEP is not a vaccine.
When to stop using PrEP?
When you’re no longer at risk of getting HIV, don’t want to have to take your daily pills, or when side effects are affecting your health, your activities, and your life, you can talk to your doctor about stopping PrEP. as well as to receive advice on other preventive measures.
Should Situational PrEP (ED-PrEP) be used?
According to WHO – World Health Organization in 2019, people who have sex with men on average less than 2 times a week are recommended to use situational PrEP to prevent HIV safely and effectively.
However, you should seek specific advice from your doctor to make sure you are suitable for prophylactic use of PrEP , and receive clear advice if you want to switch to daily PrEP later on. or vice versa.
How much does PrEP cost? Where can I buy PrEP?
Currently, only a few reputable clinics provide genuine PrEP drugs such as Galant general clinic, Hong Nhung pharmacy, … with the price of about 500,000 – 600,000 / box of 20 tablets.
Above is detailed information about PrEP in HIV prevention. Hopefully with this article of Cfis.edu.vn, you will pocket more useful information about an effective HIV prevention method!
Source: Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control – Ministry of Health, Health & Life Newspaper
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