Saturday , July 31 2021

Peru, a third Latin American country to give a pill to avoid HIV

Peru has become the third Latin American country, after Mexico and Brazil, in order to deliver a pill, which serves to prevent HIV intake to 90% of cases, thanks to the UN program and public private initiative, informed the program's promoters.

The project was carried out by the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Sexuality, AIDS and Society of the Cayetano-Heredia University, in Lima, and the United Nations UN Program for HIV (UNAIDS) as part of the strategy to avoid this disease between the vulnerable populations of Peru.

The coordinator of the project, the epidemiologist Kelika Konda, stressed that Peru is one of the first countries in Latin America with Brazil and Mexico to incorporate PrEP into the public system.

It explained that the exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a method implemented in 39 countries worldwide, especially for middle economies, and where there is a higher rate of people infected with HIV.

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The method consists of taking a pill every day that contains two antiretroviral drugs (Tenofovir / Emtricitabine), which reduce the risk of a 90% infection.

According to Konda, the project already has ten offices worldwide, nine of them with the support of the Peruvian Ministry of Health.

"So far, we're doing a great deal, we have been six months since the beginning of the recruitment of patients taking PrEP and now we have 450 people enrolled in the project," he said.

In Peru there are around 70,000 people infected with HIV, according to official figures, and PrEP seeks to control and reduce this figure working with vulnerable populations and more frequently revealed to possible contact.

Epidemiologist Konda explains that you only work with people who do not live with HIV, but who are at risk of catching the disease.

"The recommended WHO is that PrEP should be given to populations whose HIV rate is greater than 3 per 100 people per year. These "key" populations, such as people who have sex with men and oppressive women, are those we work"he said.

For Konda, there is a reduction in HIV risk within the population receiving PrEP, but information is still collected to confirm whether this implies a reduction in infections at the general population level.

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"The idea of ​​PrEP is that if people take it, they do not get HIV and can break the circle of infection to other people, but the evidence of how it works in the population is something that is trying to understand more," he said. .

The aim of this initiative is to incorporate 1,500 people worldwide, who also join other HIV prevention programs that the Ministry of Health works.

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