AIDS prevention in US may shift from condoms to pills

Federal health officials’ recommendation to use daily pill to avoid AIDS may shift the US prevention on the virus to antiretroviral drugs from the unpopular condoms.

Last Wednesday, Federal health officials encouraged hundreds of thousands of US citizens who have higher risk at getting AIDS to take daily pills that have a potential to prevent the infection causing the virus. If this suggestion is followed, there will be a significant shift of AIDS prevention in America from condoms to antiretroviral drug called Truvada.

If this shift happens, it means an increase in the prescription and sales of the drug fifty times over from lower than 10,000 a year to 500,000. This daily pill costs $13,000 annually and most insurance providers already included it in their policies.

The guidelines recommended by Federal health officials tell the doctors to consider PrEP, a drug regimen which means pre-exposure prophylaxis. This can be prescribed for gay men who does not use condoms when having sex, male bisexuals who does not use condoms, heterosexuals who has high risk sexual partners, patients who have sex with people they know are infected, and people sharing needles or use injected drugs.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are disappointed that HIV infection cases in America do not have any significant change in the past 10 years. The number has always been at an average of 50,000 every year. What frustrates them the most is that there have been advices for over three decades to use condom to avoid transmission.

The use of condom is slowly dropping in the US and unprotected sex increased by about 20 percent in 2011 from 2005.

Advocacies to use the drug regimen was strengthened during the Federal health officials’ last Wednesday, despite no guarantee that people at risk will follow this drug regimen.

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