PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) Medication
What is PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis)?
If there are several ARVs available to treat what is called the human immunodeficiency virus, there are also medicines used to prevent the infection. Defined as pre-exposure prophylaxis, PrEP refers to the type of drugs that are used to prevent HIV infection, whether it be from unprotected sex or shared use of needles.
The said form of treatment is only for people who obtain negative results after an HIV screening. Furthermore, this medication can also be prescribed to individuals who are at a high risk of HIV infection. PrEP is highly capable of preventing HIV infection and inhibiting possible health complications.
How does it work?
When an individual consumes this medicine strictly, he/she is guaranteed safe from the infection, with a percentage high of 99%. Aside from keeping individuals safe, it will also reduce their chances of acquiring the disease. This rate, however, is only accessible to any activities involving sexual intercourse.
Prior to any sexual activity, this medicine should attain a specific level in the system of the body from which there is guaranteed protection from probable infection. However, the period to continue or reach that phase depends on every person, which explains the reason why further discussion with your medical consultant is always a prerequisite. Commonly, the average period for the first tablet to establish concrete protection for the body is 7 to 20 days. With this, an individual must keep in mind that continuous intake is necessary and missing one dose can only aggravate the process.
As for other HIV cases, such as acquisition by means of shared syringes, the percentage of safety is only 74% – high enough for someone not to get the infection. For this matter, once an individual follows the accurate dosing and observes proper consumption of PrEP, the infection is less likely to happen.
While it’s been said that PrEP has the capacity to prevent HIV, an individual is still a risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This explains the continuous usage of condoms and other protective barriers during sex.
Medications Approved for PrEP
Following its popularization, PrEP has introduced two major medications approved for usage. These medications include:
- Truvada – A type of ARV with components such as emtricitabine & tenofovir disoproxil. Before given this medicine, an individual must have a negative status and must weigh 34 kilograms or more. Its dosage will also include the age and medical history of a patient.
- Descovy – For this type of ARV, its main ingredients are emtricitabine & tenofovir alafenamide. Same with Truvada, an individual prescribed with this medicine should have a negative status. Its dosage will require someone to detail out his/her medical history, age, and other forms of medicine he/she is taking as of the moment.
For this form of treatment, there are no known severe adverse reactions. It explains its lesser list of side effects. These unwanted reactions should vanish after a short period of their impact on the body.
- Mild headache
- A general feeling of discomfort
- Mild dizziness
- Mild tiredness
- Mild diarrhea
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