PrEP: A daily pill to prevent HIV

January 14, 2019 0 By S Harachand

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine. It is approved for daily use to help prevent an HIV-negative person from getting HIV from a sexual or injection-drug-using partner who is positive. USFDA has approved the pill for HIV-negative adults and adolescents weighing at least 35 kg.

Daily PrEP use can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and from injection drug use by more than 70%.

The WHO has recommended PrEP for all groups at risk of infection. Randomised controlled trials have shown that rapid, targeted, and high-coverage roll-out of PrEP can have a large and fast impact on people at risk.

PrEP was approved in 2012 in the US. The uptake, however, was slow at the beginning. By late 2016, as many as 83,672 men in the US had started on PrEP, according to estimates.

The NHS announced it would provide PrEP to 10,000 patients in selected clinics in England from September 2017. There was a marked decline in HIV diagnoses in the same year, following the introduction of PrEP.

In France, roughly 97% of men who have sex with men (MSM) (2,805 people) were commenced on PrEP in the first 12 months of roll-out in 2016. Only four new HIV infections in this cohort were reported.