Approved in Europe since 2016, PrEP is a treatment to prevent HIV in those at high risk of contracting HIV infection. And finally today, the Ministry of Health has approved the financing of the HIV preventive pill, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and has announced that it will be effective starting next November 1. It is a treatment that will not be sold in pharmacies but is “hospital use”, that is, pharmacies can only be dispensed from hospitals or authorized care centers. It is a combination of two antiretrovirals in a single pill, taken once a day, and some studies have shown that it reduces the possibility of infections by almost 90%.
As reported by the Ministry, PrEP will be financed by Public Health only for two “risk groups.” The first of these includes “men who have sex with men” and “HIV-negative transsexuals” over 18 years of age and who meet the following criteria:
- More than ten different sexual partners in the last year.
- Unprotected anal sex practice in the last year.
- Administration of post-exposure prophylaxis several times in the last year.
- At least one bacterial STI in the last year.
The second of those considered “risk groups” for Health and that, therefore, may also acquire the pill for free are “HIV negative sex workers who refer to an unusual use of condoms.”
Health estimates that some 17,000 people throughout Spain will be able to benefit from this measure and ensures that it is “essential to use all preventive strategies against HIV scientifically endorsed”. They assure from the Ministry that in this “global strategy” PrEP is framed as an additional and complementary measure to those already existing “.
A study published by the director of Brigde HIV of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Susan P. Buchbinder, in IAS-USA, warns that even though homosexual sex was responsible for 82% of new HIV diagnoses between men, heterosexual contact is responsible for 86% of new diagnoses among women in the US.