Can a Pill Keep You HIV-Free – Apparently It Can With Advanced Treatment Procedures
HIV infection continues to have a devastating effect on the youth of today and subsequently on the fabric of society. The fallout is distressing. Instances of disability and death are increasing across the world because of HIV infections. The worst part is that the most productive years of adult life comes to a grinding halt which can have grave and long term consequences on the financial wellness of families, society and the country as well.
One of the most effective ways of dealing with the problem is the HIV prevention pill. The Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the best-known and proven HIV prevention strategy which is being adopted by medical professionals across the world. PrEP is recommended for healthy individuals who are HIV-negative. They are supposed to take these anti-HIV medications before coming into physical contact with an HIV positive individual. This can help reduce their risk of becoming infected as the medications are designed to prevent HIV from creating infection inside the body. PrEP was approved by the FDA in 2012.
Who Can Benefit
PrEP is recommended to those individuals who are at a very high risk for HIV. PrEP can prevent HIV from gaining control and spreading the infection throughout your body. It is important to note that PrEP can work amazingly well if it is taken in the dosage and manner prescribed by the medical professional. It loses its effectiveness when there is inconsistency in consumption or if not taken as prescribed.
When consumed daily, PrEP helps reduce the risk of getting HIV during sexual intercourse by as much as 90%. It can also help reduce the chances of infection among those individuals habituated to injecting drugs. In such individuals, PrEP can reduce the risk of contracting the HIV virus by more than 70%. Getting infected with HIV from sexual contact can be further lowered when PrEP is used along with other effective prevention methods.
PrEP is recommended for:
- Gays and bisexuals who have been diagnosed with any type of STD in the recent past
- Individuals in a sexual relationship with a partner who is not in a monogamous relationship
- Heterosexuals who do not use condoms during sexual intercourse with partners whose HIV status is unclear/unknown
- Individuals who have used drugs through injections in recent past and have shared needles
- Individuals who have received treatment for drug abuse in the past six months
PrEP may cause nausea in some users but these symptoms subside with subsequent use in most individuals. There are no known life-threatening side-effects caused by PrEP.
Starting PrEP Treatment:
You must consult a qualified health care provider and provide them all the details they need to prescribe the right prevention dosage, specific to your health condition.
It is extremely important to be consistent in taking PrEP. Most doctors will recommend that you take an HIV test to make sure you are not suffering from HIV. Regular follow-up visits are a must.
There are many health insurance plans that now cover PrEP too. Some medical plans also offer PrEP free to those with limited financial resources and no health care insurance.
Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors