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Approval of the use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a highly effective strategy to prevent the transmission of HIV

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Approval of the use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a highly effective strategy to prevent the transmission of HIV

 

Sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBI’s) including HIV remain an important public health issue in Newfoundland & Labrador.  Over the past four years the province has experienced an increase in HIV infections.  Truvada and generic brands (PrEP) is now listed as a regular benefit in the Newfoundland & Labrador drug plan formulary.

Daily use of PrEP is recommended by the World Health Organization as an effective method to prevent HIV in people at significant risk of infection.  It is a part of a suite of tools to prevent new HIV infections, including the use of condoms and sterile drug use equipment, and other risk-reduction services and supports. People at risk include men and transwomen who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and people who have sex with individuals living with HIV.

PrEP is a prevention treatment that is safe and highly effective. People who are interested in PrEP must consider the following factors for maximizing safety and effectiveness:

* PrEP must only be used by people who are HIV negative.

* PrEP must only be accessed through a family physician or nurse practiter.

* PrEP requires that people are highly adherent to PrEP medications as prescribed.

*People who want to start taking PrEP should first be tested for kidney function and screened for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) including HIV, syphilis, hepatitis A, B and C.

* People who are taking PrEP should have regular clinic visits with a health care provider, once after 30 days on PrEP and every three months thereafter, to test for HIV and STIs, to monitor for side effects and toxicity, and for adherence and risk-reduction counselling.


For additional information on the use and access to PrEP, contact the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland & Labrador at 1-800-563-1575 or info@acnl.net.

 

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