Cities like London, San Francisco and New York are registered each time
A lower number of new infections of AIDS and experts attribute a large part of this achievement to the pill: pre-exposure prophylaxis, better known as PrEP.
If taken daily, PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection by more than 90% or 70% by using needles not sterilized or used by several people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disease Prevention of the United States (CDC for its initials in English).
The American pharmaceutical company Gilad Medes began its journey in 2012 under the Truvada brand.
In addition, three years later, the World Health Organization (WHO) has begun recommending its use to prevent HIV among high-risk HIV-related groups, such as gay men, bisexual men and their partners, sex workers, or sex workers. Couples of someone infected with this virus.
But while its results were already seen in developed countries, the high cost of this treatment kept it away from the most vulnerable areas.
Chile, for example, is one of the ten countries in the world where new cases of HIV patients have risen by more than 50% between 2010 and 2017, according to the UNAIDS HIV / AIDS Joint Program.
And there is the PREP cost between $ 575 and US $ 645 per month, according to the same state press.
However, starting in the first quarter of 2019, the government will compensate it free of charge as part of an ambitious national plan to fight AIDS, as the new infections doubled between 2010 and 2017, according to the Institute of Public Health of Chile.
But how does it work?
PrEP contains emtricitabine and tenofovir, two drugs that are also used in antiretirirals because they reduce the amount of virus in the blood and prevent it from multiplying.
It does not work as a vaccine, since it does not produce antibodies, but its daily intake is necessary so that emtricitabine and tenofovir are present in the blood at the moment of infection and prevent HIV from being established in the body, explains CDC. web page
However, PREP is not for everyone. Before starting to take it, it must be ruled out that the patient has been infected with the virus. It is also necessary to verify the good condition of the kidneys and liver, as the pill can cause disturbances in these organs.
Experts recommend limiting its use to those who are at clear risk of HIV infection, as treatment can lead to side effects such as nausea, abdominal pain or headaches, in more extreme cases, accumulation of lactic acid in the blood.
In addition, those who suffer from hepatitis B should be especially careful because if they start using Truvada and then stop the treatment, it is very likely that hepatitis will get worse.
Taking PREP does not mean that other methods of prevention can be dispensed with. The pill does not protect other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis or genital herpes, which is incurable.
Also is 100%. Although they are rare, there are at least five cases of people infected with HIV despite the taking of Truvada and two other cases where it was not possible to completely rule out the fact that patients acquired the virus before starting to take the pill, according to the portal collects specialized HIV AIDS.
There are some exceptions among the thousands of people who use PREP. However, however, treatment must be accompanied by other preventive methods such as condoms and periodic HIV testing.