Facts About PrEP: What Do You Need To Know?

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Have you ever heard of the PrEP before? Well, this is actually a new approach into preventing HIV. Furthermore, through this approach, the individuals who are negative of HIV use some anti-HIV medications that help reduce the risks of acquiring the infection. In this article, we are going to discuss further the different facts about PrEP. Read on through this article and learn more!

Facts about PrEP: What is this?

The PrEP or Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, as what we have said earlier, is a new HIV prevention approach where the individuals who are negative of HIV use some anti-HIV medications that help reduce the risks of acquiring the infection. Furthermore, PrEP is an additional tool that a person may consider adding in the HIV prevention toolkit.

To understand it further, read the following:

  • Pre –before
  • Exposure –coming in contact with the virus
  • Prophylaxis –treatment in preventing an infection from occurring

Moreover, PrEP is a prevention strategy for HIV where the normal person take some anti-HIV medications before getting in contact with the virus itself. Furthermore, this is to reduce the risk of acquiring the virus. Furthermore, the medications actually work in preventing the HIV from instituting infection in the body.

The PrEP has long been effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection via sex for bisexual and gay men. Moreover, the same goes through with the heterosexual women and men, and transgender women. As well as those who inject drugs.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t protect against some other sexually transmitted infections or even pregnancy. Further, it isn’t a treatment for HIV.

PEP and PrEP: The difference

Another one of the most important facts about PrEP that you need to learn is its difference from the PEP.

While PrEP is a prevention strategy before coming in contact with HIV, PEP stands for:

  • Post –after
  • Exposure –coming in contact with the virus
  • Prophylaxis –treatment in preventing an infection from occurring

The PEP or Post-exposure Prophylaxis is a prevention strategy for HIV wherein the HIV-negative persons take medications for HIV after having contact with the virus. Moreover, this is to reduce the risk of becoming infected by HIV.  In addition, the PEP is a month-long course of medications and should start within 3 days after the possible exposure.

PrEP: Who does it work for?

The PrEP has been shown to be beneficial in reducing the risk of the HIV infection in various studies. Furthermore, one trial actually suggests that the PrEP helps in reducing the risk of the infection among bisexual men and gays. As well as the transgender women.  Furthermore, two large trials also show that the PrEP can also reduce the risk of the HIV infection among heterosexual women and men. Moreover, one study in Bangkok also demonstrates that the PrEP is essential for those who inject drugs.

Approved Medication for PrEP

The most approved medication for PrEP is the TRUVADA or the TDF/FTC. In 2012, the FDA actually approved the use of it for PrEP. This particular medication is taken once every day. It combines two medicines in one. It functions by way of blocking an enzyme known as the HIV reverse transcriptase. Furthermore, through the blocking of this enzyme, it helps in preventing the HIV from making more copies of itself inside the body.

Effectiveness of PrEP

In the actual fact, the TRUVADA has 92-99% reduction in the risk of HIV for those who are negative with the virus who take the pill each day as instructed. Additionally, if they miss a daily dose, the level of protection against HIV have may decline. Furthermore, those who use the PrEP properly and unfailingly have much higher levels of protection against the virus.

There are actually no enough data available in providing a certain timing guidance on the non-daily use of PrEP. Therefore, the Food and Drug Authority recommends the PrEP to be used every day. This is in order to achieve the highest possible level of protection.

Side Effects of PrEP

Another one of the most significant facts about PrEp that you need to know is the side effects of it. Moreover, the most approved PrEP, TRUVADA is normally safe and is well-abided. Most of the people who use PrEP report feeling no bad side effects. However, some side effects which fall into the four major categories:

  • Small increase in the serum creatinine. The TRUVADA is well-popular in causing a small increase in the serum creatinine. This is a naturally occurring molecule that is filtered by the kidneys.
  • Weight loss. About 2.2% of people who took TRUVADA reported to experience some inadvertent weight loss of over 5%. This is in comparison to that of the placebo users who just get 1.1%.
  • Headaches. About 4.5% of those who participated reported headaches. Furthermore, this is in comparison to that of the placebo users who just get 3.3%.
  • Nausea. About 9% of people who took TRUVADA reported that they experienced nausea in the first month. Moreover, this is in comparison to that of the placebo users who just get 5%.

For most of the people, all of these side effects goes away on their own, especially after several weeks.

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