Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Medication
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a sexual health treatment that is used to help protect people against human immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as HIV. When PrEP HIV is taken every day, as typically advised by a health care provider, it can protect HIV-negative individuals from contracting the disease, when they would otherwise be at high risk of contracting it. Order the HIV PrEP medication you need (such as generic Truvada - emtricitabine/tenofovir) online from EU Meds to effectively safeguard against the spread of HIV and protect sexual health.
What is PrEP?
HIV Pre exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, is a medication that is used to prevent an acute HIV infection in those that are considered to be at high risk and safeguard the sexual health of that person. The term pre-exposure means that it protects against infection before coming into contact with it. This makes it different from PEP, which stands for post-exposure prophylaxis, which is a medication that a HIV patient would take after exposure to the virus. Depending on the use-case, HIV PrEP is typically taken via daily dosing by a HIV positive partner to ensure that a HIV negative person is protected, as they are at higher risk of HIV acquisition, via engaging in sexual activities such as condomless sex and anal sex.
Greg Owen explains what PrEP is
Co-founder of I Want PrEP Now, Greg Owen, has created a video explaining what PrEP is:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis) Explained
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) provide an explanation of how to prevent HIV transmission in the video below:
Pan American Health Organization: How PrEP prevents HIV Transmission
The PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) have created a a helpful video to explain how PrEP treatment works to prevent the spread HIV between sexual partners:
PrEP HIV FAQs
Below EU Meds answer some of the most frequently asked questions relating to PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) medication.
What is the PrEP HIV prevention rate?
PrEP has proven to be a very effective medication. HIV has prevention rates of up to 92% when it is taken correctly. This is so important as HIV is a cruel disease that attacks the cells of your immune system. Over time, this damage caused by HIV can become severe and leave your body weak to serious infections and cancers. Once the immune system is severely damaged due to an HIV infection, it indicates that the infection has progressed to its most critical stage, known as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Head of STIs and HIV at Public Health England, Professor Noel Gill, says that there have been 'steep declines in HIV transmission, especially in gay men' thanks to the combined use of PrEP medication and condoms, alongside expanded HIV testing., alongside the improved availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) / antiretroviral medication.
How does PrEP work?
PrEP medications work by stopping an HIV infection from replicating and spreading itself throughout the body if it enters your bloodstream, making it effective for HIV prevention. The active ingredients (emtricitabine and tenofovir) in PrEP interfere with the way in which HIV replicates itself inside the cells of the body. When PrEP is taken regularly, it builds up in the system and provides ongoing protection against HIV infections.
How long does PrEP take to work?
The length of time PrEP will take to work will depend on a number of factors. Typically, it will take around seven days before someone is fully protected against HIV infections. During this time you will need to take extra caution and use other preventative measures such as condoms. Speak to a health care provider for further advice.
How do I use PrEP?
In order to have long-term protection from HIV infections, a health care provider will typically suggest that you need to take PrEP medication every day. It can also be used when needed, however, this is not the recommended means of use. The medication is only advised for those who are currently HIV-negative and are at the highest risk of contracting it. It's important to consult with a doctor, pharmacist, sexual health clinic or a similar health expert before starting on PrEP treatment.
What is the correct dosage of PrEP HIV?
PrEP Dosage for HIV
PrEP dosage for HIV prevention will vary based on the type of sexual activity being undertaken. For example vaginal sex, frontal sex or anal sex. You can find out more at iwantprepnow.co.uk
Daily PrEP Dosage vs On Demand PrEP Dosage
|Daily PrEP (1 pill per day) routine||On Demand PrEP/Event Based Dosing (EBD)|
|Suitable for||Both anal and vaginal or frontal sex||Anal sex only|
|Lead-in time||7 days||On Demand (for the sexual event)|
|Recommended timing||Same time each day||2 pills 2-24 hours before sex, then 1 pill 24 hours later and a further pill 24 hours after that|
|Missed doses||Adequate protection even with missed pills||Important not to miss any doses|
|Food intake||Can be taken with or without food||N/A|
|Recommended if you have active hepatitis B infection||N/A||No|
Further instructions can be found on the How To Take PrEP page at I Want PrEP Now.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of PrEP HIV medication?
A health insurance policy may or may not cover the cost of HIV PrEP treatment depending on the laws of the country that the health insurance policy is active in, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Below EU Meds answer some of the most frequently asked questions relating to one of the worlds most prevalent sexually transmitted infections, HIV, within the context of PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis).
What are the symptoms of HIV?
According to the NHS, HIV symptoms could be a combination of the following:
|Symptoms for Primary HIV infection (2-6 weeks post infection)|
HIV symptoms once immune system is severely damaged
|Fever (raised temperature)||Weight loss|
|Body rash||Night sweats|
Serious life-threatening illnesses
|Swollen glands (nodes)|
Can you prevent the contraction of HIV?
Yes, by using HIV PrEP, you are actively preventing the contraction of HIV. HIV is a preventable condition, and PrEP is a HIV medication that should be used by those at the highest risk of contracting HIV. Unfortunately, once you contract an HIV infection and you test HIV-positive, following a HIV test, you will live with it forever as the human body can never get rid of the virus completely, permanently affecting your HIV status. However, with the correct treatment, HIV prevention is possible as you will be able to get your viral load down to undetectable levels, meaning that you will not be able to transmit the virus to others after possible exposure following sexual activity.
The European Medicines Agency say that the PrEP pill, Truvada (generically referred to as emtricitabine/tenofovir - the generic PrEP pill), is a PrEP treatment / HIV medicine used to help prevent sexually transmitted HIV 1 infection in adults and adolescents who are at high risk of being infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV can be transmitted in many different ways. The most common way that HIV is transmitted is via unprotected sexual content. It can also be transmitted via needle sharing, blood transfusion and from a mother to a child. Unlike some conditions, like cold and flu, HIV is not airborne and cannot be passed from one person to another through being in close proximity to someone, contact (such as hugging, shaking hands or kissing), sharing toilets, dishes or glasses. It also cannot be passed through certain bodily fluids such as saliva, sweat, urine, or tears.
Is it true that AIDS can only be transmitted as HIV?
AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a condition that is caused by HIV. If left untreated, HIV will attack and weaken the immune system over time. This will lead to AIDS. AIDS can only develop in someone that is suffering from HIV, and it cannot be passed on to anyone directly as AIDS. AIDS is a condition that develops over time from an HIV infection.
Who is at the highest risk of HIV transmission?
There are a number of different groups that are at the highest risk of HIV transmission that will benefit from regular PrEP usage. The main groups who may need to use PrEP include:
- Men who have unprotected sexual intercourse with men
- People who inject drugs
- People who share needles
- Sex workers
- People who have unprotected condomless sex with multiple sexual partners
What constitutes a high risk of HIV infection?
As an infectious disease, HIV is one of the world's most fatal sexually transmitted sexual health conditions. The definition of someone being at ‘high risk’ of HIV infection will depend on a variety of things including the individual's sexual behaviour, their habits when it comes to injectable drug use and some other factors, a healthcare provider will be best place to advise on this. There are certain areas of the world that are known to have a higher risk of HIV and other infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, including sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa, according to the National Institutes of Health. Some countries at higher risk of HIV infection also employ people in specialist roles to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, such as environmental health technicians (EHT).
What initiatives are there to help tackle the HIV epidemic across the world?
There are many initiatives and PrEP services that have been set up with the sole aim of fighting the HIV epidemic across the world and to raise awareness of the sexually transmitted infection HIV, PrEP HIV treatment, PEP (post exposure prophylaxis), HIV testing and more. Some of the most popular initiatives include: The Terrance Higgins Trust, NHS Lets Talk About It, World Health Organization's Global HIV Programme, I Want PrEP Now, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Ready, Set, PrEP program and HIV.gov. A chat with your healthcare provider may help you to learn about these HIV-related campaigns and allow you to discuss them in further detail, should you wish to find out more.
- Wikipedia - Pre-exposure prophylaxis
- Healthline - HIV PrEP
- HIV.gov - Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Terrence Higgins Trust - PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)
- NHS - HIV and AIDS prevention
- Let's Talk About It NHS - PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)
- NHS Inform Scotland - PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)
- I Want PrEP Now - About PrEP
- Planned Parenthood - PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
- Ending HIV - PrEP
- The Rainbow Project - PrEP
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
- NICE - NICE recommends offering PrEP to people at high risk of HIV for first time
- World Health Organization - Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Greater Than AIDS - Let's Talk About PrEP
- Aidsmap - Taking PrEP during acute HIV infection for more than 2-3 weeks likely to cause resistance: Thai study
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