The research, which has been published in the JAMA Network Open, carried out by researchers from the University of Monash (Australia) and the World Health Organization (WHO), has reviewed 88 previous studies that analyzed the incidence of infections of Sexual transmission (STI) in people before and during the use of PrEP as prevention of AIDS. Thirty percent of the sample were individuals from low- and middle-income countries, and have pointed out the need to strengthen sexual health services for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users – a preventive method to avoid being infected with HIV.
The results showed that those who ask to take this drug, which combines emtricitabine and tenofovir, would have a high risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea, compared to those who use other means of HIV prevention. Specifically, they found that 24% of the study participants had been diagnosed with any of the last three STDs before starting to take PrEP and this percentage increased to 72% when they continued with this medication for a year.
The risk factors for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are practically the same, such as not using condoms in sexual intercourse, lack of accessibility to the purchase of these protection methods, having more than one sexual partner , chemsex or share erotic toys.
It is for this reason, that they recommend that in the centers or services where this protective method against AIDS is offered or dispensed, measures of prevention of other sexually transmitted diseases are also implemented for those who demand it, since according to this meta-analysis, they are a Especially high risk group. In addition, they take the opportunity to warn that those who want to use PrEP should be informed, they could be protected from HIV, but that this effect is not extensible to the rest of STIs, some of them causing more serious problems such as infertility, salpingitis (infection of the fallopian tubes), pelvic inflammatory disease or gonococcal arthritits.
Since 2015, WHO recommends pre-exposure prophylaxis for people who are at high risk of contracting HIV. However, most PrEP implementations have been carried out in high-income countries, although they are still being developed for medium and low-income countries. According to the study data, today there are more than 60 countries in the world that have national policies related to PrEP, 20 of them are in Africa.