Among the strategies that are being implemented to combat HIV, there is one that demonstrates greater effectiveness. This is a pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP. These are tablets that contain emtricitabine and tenofovir, two drugs that are also used in antiretroviral drugs, because they reduce the amount of virus in the blood and prevent its reproduction.
Cities like London, San Francisco and New York are registering fewer and fewer new HIV infections, and experts link most of this achievement to the use of this pill.
With daily use of PrEP, more than 90 percent reduces the chance of being infected with HIV sexually or 70 percent when using needles that are not sterilized or used by several people, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shorten it in English.
Since 2012, the American laboratory has been selling it under the Truvada brand. And three years later, the World Health Organization (WHO) began recommending its use for HIV prevention among groups at high risk of HIV infection, such as homosexuals, bisexual men and their female partners, sex workers, or sex workers. vapors of someone infected by this virus.
Omar Suede, Technical Director of Fundación Huésped, explained: “PrEP is widely known, approved and works very well. We from the Foundation call on the government to include it in the fight against HIV. ”
Why is this not included yet?
– There is a lot of talk about cost, this is one of the arguments of those who do not want the state to take responsibility. But this is a fallacy. A tablet costs 17,000 pesos a month if you buy it at a pharmacy, 4000 if you get it through social work, and 700 if it is provided by the state. That is why state participation is important. It is cheaper than treating an infected person.
-How it works?
– It has emtricitabine and tenofivir, two drugs that prevent the colonization and reproduction of the virus. These drugs are also used, among others, to treat HIV infection in people who already have it.
Can anyone use this?
-Not. There are limitations. The first condition is that the person is not infected. PrEP prevents, does not treat.
-Why it does not work on infected people?
-Because "incomplete" treatment (use only two sets of three drugs that make up the full treatment) is ineffective in controlling the infection and, more importantly, causes resistance to these drugs. Then they will not help this person to cure their infection.
What other conditions for its use?
– The other condition is that it is part of a prevention and care strategy. The PrEP user should periodically check to see if he has become infected. And the point is not that everyone starts using it, it is also intended for groups that are more likely to get infected. And the ideal is to use it in the context of preventive measures: the use of prophylactic agents, not giving out syringes, and so on. The tablet serves, for example, at preventive breakdown. This should be rare. But a sex worker who has a relationship with 50 people a week has a high risk of being broken at some point.
-You said that there are groups that oppose this pill.
– Resistance in some cases due to moral issues. Things like the state cannot spend money on this if there are guys who need milk.
Huge nonsense. The state should provide the necessary milk, as well as what is needed to combat the spread of HIV.
– Of course. This is a false argument, as are the groups that have stated that it is not necessary to legalize abortions, but to develop the ESI, and now they are against the ESI. These are groups that try to punish certain sexual practices and certain pleasures.
– Only these reactionary groups oppose?
No, there is also opposition from some groups of people living with viruses.
– True? How strange!
– Yes, we can assume that they will support any initiative, so that it does not spread more people, but no. The argument is that instead of PrEP, more campaigns need to be developed to use a prophylactic agent (here we also have to do both, not resist). But others fear that if you encourage the use of this pill, it will damage the resources intended to fight the infection.
– They don't seem like worthy arguments.
– They are not.
-We are talking about side effects, such as kidney problems, liver problems …
-PrEP is a medicine, and, like everyone else, it can cause problems. But just read the prospectus of any, and we will see that they are all potentially dangerous. But in order for us to have an idea of the potential danger, we must remember that WHO does not recommend any specific follow-up action for users who have not had liver or kidney diseases in history.
– It seems less dangerous to the kidneys than diclofenac …
– Of course yes. Of course, it must be taken by prescription and under medical supervision.
– Is it used in Argentina?
Yes. That is why we encourage state participation to reduce costs, and this can be achieved through social work or with the help of the state. There is a boy who submitted the injunction, and until, until the main problem is resolved, OSDE should provide it. With the Foundation, we are part of an international research consortium, among other things, to see ways to manage. In France, they showed that it may not be necessary to take pills every day, and in other places they are considering injection every two months.