What is PrEP?
It is an acronym that comes from English, which means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. PrEP is the use of a drug to prevent a person who does not have HIV from getting the infection when exposed to the virus.
Which drug is used as PrEP? Does it exist in Brazil?
To date, the drug that has proven most effective in prevention is the one that
combines two antiretrovirals (tenofovir and emtricitabine) in a single tablet, Truvada. Today we know that if you take Truvada every day, HIV protection comes close to 100%. However, Truvada does not yet exist in Brazil.
Is Truvada © safe for people who are not HIV positive? Is it worth it to use a drug to protect yourself?
Yes, it is safe. Several surveys have proven that Truvada is safe for people who are HIV negative. The side effects are mild and transient. This was verified in the main prevention study for the population of gay and transvestite men (iPrEX), carried out in several countries of the world, including Brazil (lNI / Fiocruz & USP). The safety verified was a condition for the use as prevention to be authorized by the FDA, an American body which is similar to our ANVISA.
If I am using Truvada® for PrEP, will not I have to use a condom any more?
This is a very important point to be clarified. In prevention we need to combine methods. It is the combination of methods that allows you to achieve the highest level of protection. Truvada should be used in addition to condom use. It is an additional protection. Truvada, for example, unlike condoms, does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea and hepatitis, to name but a few. Therefore, Truvada should not be used as a substitute for condoms, but as an additional method of HIV prevention for those who are at increased risk of acquiring the infection.
Does PrEP prevent other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
The use of truvada as PrEP does not prevent other STDs such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. That is why it is important to use a condom even when using PrEP.