STATES CHRONICLE – There seems to be an HIV treatment nobody knows about and the CDC advises Americans to take HIV prevention pills. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday that there is an anti-viral pill called Truvada that could help prevent HIV infection. According to them, 34 percent of health providers have no idea this pill exists.
The protective pill was approved by the FDA in 2012 and it is supposed to cut the risk of infection by over 70 percent. An estimated number of 22,000 people in the U.S. have already received the treatment which is often called PrEP. However another 1.2 million people are most probably going take it as recommended by their doctors, given that the infection poses a great threat for them.
Most private insurance policies will cover the annual prescription which will be of about $10,000. Among other tactics of preventing the spread of HIV are also condoms and disease screening. Unfortunately so far, more than 1 million cases of infection have been registered among Americans.
The first step towards helping potentially infected people is to better inform and prepare doctors about PrEP. The CDC calls to action all medical associations to start implementing HIV prevention efforts. They also contributed with over $200 million for the promotion of PrEP among those who are most at risk which include almost a quarter of bisexual and gay adult men who are sexually active but are not infected; a fifth of adults who inject drugs and one in 200 straight adults who are sexually active.
The people with the highest risk of being infected are the ones who have HIV-positive sexual partners or multiple sexual partners. For those using drugs, the risk increases when they share needles to inject themselves.
As with any other new discovered treatment, there are skeptics who believe PrEP will encourage unprotected sex. Of course, this could lead to other sexually transmitted diseases, as the pill does not prevent other STDs.
The most common side effects of the pill are nausea, diarrhea and weight loss and very few more serious complications. However, since it is FDA approved and the CDC strongly advises people with high risk of infection to use it, you should at least ask your doctor about it. For guidelines on how to prevent HIV infection and for finding out whether you have a high risk of being infected you can go to the CDC official website.
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