Are you at a high risk of getting HIV? Safer sex acts or behaviors are combined with the use of antiretroviral therapy to increase the protection and lower the chances of getting the virus. There are a lot of benefits of adhering to PrEP guidelines. It’s good to know these guidelines to remain safe and protected.
Prevention is better than a cure and it’s good to know effective measures to decrease the risk of getting HIV. At HIVPrEP, we provide you with detailed information and guideline resources on how best you can protect yourself from getting HIV.
While the infection rates have been substantially reduced among the general population (in some countries), HIV is still a serious issue, especially for young adults (aged 13-24). The chances of getting the above-mentioned infection depend on individual sexual behavior and the traits of the sexual partner, among other factors.
The FDA officially accepted the use of PrEP medications in 2012 to decrease an individual’s risk or chances of HIV exposure. These drugs are highly effective, providing over 90% protection if taken daily, adhering to dose information as prescribed by a doctor, and using other sexual HIV prevention practices (such as using condoms).
In this article, we discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis guidelines for the general public to help individuals who are at high risk of HIV exposure to diligently follow the right procedure (or guidelines) for optimal protection.
Most of the guidelines detail important procedures in the use of antiretroviral medication to effectively manage HIV, including prevention and treatment. If you wholeheartedly followed the prescribing information as instructed, an individual with a risk of HIV-1 infection is assured of higher protection despite the viral exposure.
The target population for HIV PrEP guidelines includes (but is not limited to):
Individuals looking to prevent getting HIV after engaging in an unprotected single high-risk sexual act are recommended PEP medication – administered not more than 72 hours after the incident for the drug to be effective (the earlier you take PEP med, the better). PEP drugs are prescribed to be used for 28 days .
A significant level of TDF/FTC efficacy has been achieved where individual adherence to PrEP guidelines is high. This demonstrates how valuable this drug combination is and it is highly recommended in HIV-1 infection intervention and protection approaches.
Depending on the mode of acquiring the virus (i.e. penile, rectal or vaginal), adherence to the use of PrEP medication substantially increases the level of protection.
Some important points to consider include:
While taking this medication, pregnancy testing and HIV screening testing should be done regularly every 12 weeks.
A doctor should also assess estimated CrCl after six months of using PrEP medication and test for STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and other related diseases.
Testing for bone mineral density should be performed regularly. Bone health is mandatory for any person with a known history of pathologic fractures, or who has notable risk factors for osteoporosis.
In some instances, if acute HIV-1 infection exists while administering PrEP, TDF/FTC PrEP medication should be stopped and another combination of antiretroviral therapy with tenofovir/emtricitabine such as a protease inhibitor or TDF/FTC + dolutegravir should be prescribed as a treatment for HIV/AIDS .
PrEP medication should be discontinued if a person wishes to stay away from unsafe sex practices or when HIV exposure is no longer a risk. It should only be terminated if an individual is guaranteed safety from high risk of HIV infection/exposure.
It’s the responsibility of clinicians and medical specialists or doctors to educate persons being administered PrEP about the benefits of adhering to guidelines and actionable/possible ways/strategies to reduce HIV risk behaviors.
Those are some of the guidelines we have summarized. Depending on your nationality, you might get other detailed guidelines not listed here since medical procedures vary slightly for some countries.
Documents listed below detail comprehensive guidelines on how to analyze, apply and manage PrEP and how to effectively use ART for people exposed to HIV infection. Although there might be a slight difference when handling PrEP using specific tools, the concept still remains unchanged.
These are some of the country-specific available resources and guidelines on how to effectively handle PrEP for various types of population:
There are several guidelines (not listed here) that are specifically tailored for specific countries. All these guidelines aim to educate, providing detailed medical information and support for PrEP for people at high risk of getting HIV-1.
To ensure you stay safe and protected, follow the given guidelines while adhering to your doctor’s prescription. It’s necessary to know that PrEP medications don’t guarantee you 100% safety. You must apply other safe sex practices to stay fully protected from getting HIV.
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