Peru is the third Latin American country to deliver a pill to prevent HIV
Peru has become the third Latin American country, after Mexico and Brazil, to deliver a pill that serves to prevent HIV infection in up to 90% of cases, thanks to a UN program and a public-private initiative, Efe informed the promoters of the program.
The project has been implemented by the interdisciplinary research center on Sexuality, AIDS and Society of the Cayetano Heredia University, in Lima, and the joint United Nations program on HIV (UNAIDS) as part of the strategy to prevent this disease among the vulnerable populations of Peru.
The coordinator of the project, the epidemiologist Kelika Konda, highlighted that Peru is one of the first countries in Latin America with Brazil and Mexico to incorporate PrEP into the public health system.
He explained that Pre-exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP is a method implemented in 39 countries around the world, especially in medium economies, and where there is a higher rate of people infected with HIV.
The method consists of taking a pill every day that contains two antiretroviral drugs (Tenofovir / Emtricitabine), which reduce the risk of infection by 90%.
According to Konda, the project already has ten offices nationwide, nine of them with the support of the Peruvian Ministry of Health.
"So far we are doing very well, we have six months since the beginning of the recruitment of patients taking PrEP and at the moment we are 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 that figure by working with vulnerable populations and more often exposed to an eventual contagion.
Epidemiologist Konda explains that you only work with people who are not living with HIV, but who are at risk of catching the disease.
"The WHO recommendation is that PrEP be given to populations whose HIV rate is greater than 3 per 100 people per year.These" key "populations, such as men who have sex with men and transgender women, are with the we are working, "he said.
For Konda there is a reduction in HIV risk within the populations that are receiving PrEP, however information is still being collected to confirm whether this implies a reduction in infections at the level of the general population.
"The idea of PrEP is that if people are taking it they do not acquire HIV and can break the circle of infection to other people, but still the evidence of how it works at a population level is something that is trying to understand more," he said. .
The goal of this initiative is to incorporate 1,500 people nationwide, who also join other HIV prevention programs run by the Ministry of Health.