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PrEP Could Be Made Available on the NHS

The decision of NHS to give this drug to gay men has successfully been challenged in court. Nonetheless, the provision of PrEP faces other obstacles.

A HIV-preventive drug, PrEP could get the go ahed on the NHS after a HIV/AIDS charity successfully challenged the issue in court.

The England NHS, in May, decided that there would be no more provision of PrEP, a drug that prevents HIV infection. Barely one week after, NAT (National AIDS Trust) NAT brought the action that is leading to the NHS review.

Deborah Gold, the NAT CEO, described the ruling as fantastic, and stated that it vindicated the large number of people that the decision disappointed. However, the England NHS has stated that this decision is because there may not be enough funds to cater for other kinds of treatment.

The decision was based on the argument about the use of PrEP; whether it is for treatment or for prevention of HIV. The England NHS it is their duty to treat HIV patients, while prevention of infection is done by the local authorities, as per the 2012 Act of Social Care.

 Justice Green, the judge, stated that NHS was wrong for denying authority over and responsibility of provision of the drug. He said that NHS had a huge role in HIV prevention.

He also stated that the PrEp provision decision should be begun again, and the Clinical Priorities Consultancy Group of NHS should be consulted first.

He allowed the NHS to appeal, and NHS agreed to appeal. The public advisory will continue immediately without any obstacle if the NHS wins the appeal. However, there will be no available treatment before resolution of the appeal.

PrEP uses some drug known as Truvada. NHS already avails PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) a mixture of Isentresss and Truvada. NAT legally stated that both treatments serve similar medical purposes and should be seen as “treatment”.

Aids in the UK

     

The UK has quite a little HIV epidemic; in 2014, there was a population of 103,700 infected people. This is 0.19% of people of age 15 and above. Also, there were 6,151 new HIV diagnoses and 613 AIDS-related fatalities. 

In the past 10 years, there has been an improvement in UK’s ARV treatment. In 2014, there was a 91% provision of the treatment. Nonetheless, there is still a big problem of late HIV diagnosis. However, today it is a lot easier to access the services as screening for HIV can be arranged online.

Additionally, there is evidence of a decrease in HIV awareness among people; partly because there are no campaigns for the same, and no reproductive health and sex education offered in schools. You can get more information on HIV and AIDS on the internet.

HIV infections in UK are mainly affects Blacks and homosexual men.

What exactly is PrEP?

       

It is a group of HIV medicines for the HIV negative, taken before sex’ for the reduction of HIV infection possibility.

 Trial results have succeeded, as PrEP has greatly reduced HIV infection risks with no big side effects.

 PrEP includes Truvada tablets, which contain emtricitabine and tenofovir; common HIV treatment drugs.

How PrEP works

If you take HIV medication prior to exposure, you will have enough drug for HIV prevention before you get infected.

How often to take PrEP

In clinical examinations, there have been two types of doses:

• A tablet a day

• Taken only when required; 2 tablets between 2 and 24 hours prior to sex, a tablet one day after and another 2 days after sex.

This is event-based or on-demand dosing.

Both dosages have proven effective, though the event-based one has been studied only on bisexual and gay men.

If the UK provides PrEP, the two methods may be used, in accordance with the most appropriate.

Who can take PrEP?

People with high chances of contracting HIV should take PrEP. They include bisexual and gay men, trans-sexual, blacks and partners of HIV patients who have no successful treatment.

What about STI’s other than HIV?

Studies show PrEP’s effectiveness in HIV prevention if taken as prescribed.

However, it does not prevent pregnancy or other STI’s. Use condoms for that.

People using PrEP should screen for other STI’s on a quarterly basis to treat any STI’s they may contract.

PrEP’s effectiveness

Many big studies on PrEP show that those who followed the PrEP prescription never got infected. It may fail to work if not taken as prescribed.

The PROUD study of UK stated that HIV infection reduced by 86% among gay men under PrEP medication - the figure included those who were not under PrEP medication and contracted HIV.  PrEP is seen to provide almost complete HIV protection if used correctly. 

 PrEP safety

PrEP uses drugs similar to the ones used by many HIV patients. This makes them sfae, and they have very few critical side effects. There are few cases of fatigue, nausea and headache, and very few cases of kidney problems.

To be on the safe side, you should have your kidney tested regularly if you are under PrEP medication.

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