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- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is the best way to avoid HIV infection.
It involves the regular use of antiretroviral drugs. This type of prophylaxis is recommended by the WHO as an additional method of avoiding HIV infection, especially in people who are at increased risk. It is the first drug that protects against HIV infection.
PrEP – what is it?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV infection (PrEP) is a method that protects people who are seronegative (those who have not yet been exposed to HIV) from infection. Studies show that it is effective in up to 92% of cases. This type of therapy is mainly aimed at people who are more exposed to the virus than others (e.g. in a relationship with an HIV-infected person). Treatment consists of taking a tablet that contains two antiretroviral drugs, tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine. Both substances interfere with the action of an enzyme necessary for the virus to multiply in the body.
PrEP – for whom?
This type of therapy is primarily intended for people who are at high risk of infection. Prevention should be undertaken primarily by people who:
- not use a condom when having sex with someone who is HIV positive
- engage in many sexual contacts with people of unknown health
- have sexual intercourse with multiple partners
- engage in risky sexual behavior (e.g. intercourse with a stranger without a condom)
- have sex with an HIV-positive partner who is not receiving antiretroviral treatment
- have a sexual partner who has sex with many people
- are infected with other venereal diseases (e.g. syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia)
- want to become pregnant with an HIV-infected partner (PrEP should be an extra precaution)
Recommendations before starting therapy
Before starting therapy, you should abstain from sexual contact for a month. It is also necessary to perform tests such as testing for HIV and other venereal diseases, complete blood count, urinalysis, creatinine level test and liver tests. A person who wants to start therapy should visit a clinic that provides such a service and consult an infectious disease doctor who will conduct a detailed interview with the patient and write out referrals for necessary tests and medications.
Take the regular dose prescribed by your doctor at the same time every day, or take it occasionally 2-12 hours before intercourse, the day after intercourse and two days after intercourse. Reducing or increasing the dose may adversely affect the effectiveness of the drug. During treatment, you should be under close medical supervision and regularly test for the presence of the virus. The patient should report for a medical check-up at least once a quarter. The control is needed to check whether the prophylaxis is proceeding properly, whether the patient tolerates the medication well and whether he has not contracted another sexually transmitted disease in the meantime.
During consultations at Kierach Medical Klinic, an infectious disease doctor conducts an interview and orders the necessary tests needed to introduce the patient to PrEP prophylaxis.