PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is a prescribed drug to help HIV negative people maintain their status, even if they have unprotected intercourse with someone who is HIV positive.
Trials in the USA have shown that the risk of new HIV infections has been considerably decreased, and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control – their spelling) has endorsed the use of a daily pill for people who regularly have sex with HIV positive partners. This includes gay men who have sex without a condom, and hetro-sexuals who are considered to be high risk (with a positive partner or who are drug users).
This is a significant shift in emphasis to prevention of further infections.
A trial is now underway in England to determine whether PrEP will lead to reduced condom use, and an accompanying rise in other STIs. There is a two year trial called PROUD which has 550 gay men recruited to it (recruitment is now closed) with the Truvada drug. Campaigners hope that this trial will provide the data the NHS needs to make PrEP widely available. The cost of PrEP is thought to be lower than treating someone who is HIV positive.
Some experts worry that PrEP will encourage people to be more relaxed and take more risks. Especially if it not taken regularly and only used as a “party” drug before unprotected sex.
If you are worried that you or your partner may have been exposed to HIV, then Better2Know can help you to get tested quickly and easily with fast results.