2013. World Health Organization declares that using antiretroviral medecines is one of the best way to prevent against HIV infection, in particular for expecting women, young children, and all the populations targeted by the virus, which includes homosexuals. That treatment is composed of three antiretroviral drugs which help reducing HIV proliferation inside the organism and stopping the evolution of the disease. The WHO estimates that 37 millions people should receive the antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible after the diagnostic. Today, the organisation indicates that 15 millions patients are receiving the treatment, which highlights an important rest of people who are still exposed to a risk of infection.
Since 2012. In United States, a preventive approach already exists for HIV-uninfected people. It calls pre-exposure prophylaxis. Gay guys are one of the most famous HIV target. That is why it is important to deal with that topic for our community today more than ever!
What does this new therapy option consist in ? Which people are concerned ? How does it work ? What is it made of ?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a method of preventive health care to block acquisition of HIV infection. It was elaborated to reduce any transmission risk of the virus during sexual relationships. The PrEP makes the virus weaker (potentially in activity inside one of the two partners) and can increase the chances not to get contaminated of more than 90%,provided that you guys taking drugs correctly and regularly.
Seronegative ones highly exposed to the virus among us are those who are concerned by this medical approach. It consists in one pill called Truvada composed of emtricitabine and tenofovir. Those two components belong to the WHO’s essential medecines list since 2013. The protection rate is similar to the efficiency rate of condoms. Even though the concept of preventive therapy did not come out with the PrEP – it was already active before with some drugs acting against malaria or tuberculosis expansion – this new precautionary system appears as a relief for many uninfected gay guys who share their life with individuals affected by the virus. Technically, antiretroviral molecules block the HIV process when this one attacks white blood cells (they protect the body from infections) to reproduce itself. To see that process, you can watch a well-explained video onwhatisprep.org (https://player.vimeo.com/video/79717700).
However, even if PrEP seems to have a positive impact on seronegative and seropositive organisms, scientists want to insist on the fact that it is not a magical pill. You guys have to take it everyday (no exception), a regular HIV screening is recommended, and condoms remain an important way of contraception, especially when the patient does not follow the medical prescriptions seriously.
As regards serodiscordant couples, which means couples based on a union between one seronegative guy and one seropositive other guy, an article of Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C Information (Catie) attests that it is easier for that kind of couple to prevent against the virus contamination because both of gay guys are aware of their mutual HIV statute, which implies their higher consciousness. According to WHO’s investigations, only 51% of infected persons know about their viral contagion. Reducing these figures just to the strict worldwide gay community, results appear more significant and worrying. Being aware of your partner’s seropositivity, you can start considering about an antiretroviral treatment to minimize any form of virus contraction. In that case, PrEP is here to help gay guys fighting against the proliferation of this anti-human disease. Once more, you do have to keep on using condoms in case of you don’t strictly respect your doctor’s prescriptions.
And guys! Do go testing ! AIDS is more present than you imagine!