A pill that helps prevent the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is now available in the Philippines called the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis pill or pREP.
According to a report, the pREP pill has been proven to prevent HIV infection by over 90%. The pill, which cannot be bought over-the-counter and can only be prescribed by a physician, must be taken seven days before contact. The medicine can be taken daily for as long as the person wishes to take it. As with any medication, there are side-effects to this pill, but they are only mild. These include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. The pREP pill retails for about P1,500 to P2,400 per bottle that’s good for 30 days.
Meanwhile, the report also stated that there’s another drug called the post-exposure prophylaxis pill that stops the spread of HIV in the body after being exposed. It can be taken within 72 hours after exposure from high-risk behavior and prevents HIV by 95 percent.
The news of the availability of the pREP pill in the country might be welcoming, as the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said that the Philippines is estimated to have 201,000 cases of HIV by 2025.
UNAIDS country director Louie Ocampo said, “The Philippines has been projected to have 201,000 HIV cases by 2025, up from 56,000 cases in 2016 and 142,000 cases in 2022.” Louie added, “two of three new infections belong to the 15-24 age bracket” which will account for 19,300 new cases by 2022.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), HIV is a viral infection that attacks and slowly destroys the immune system of an infected individual which leads to immune deficiency. The disease is progressive and can lead to different kinds of infections and cancer susceptibility. It is passed on through bodily fluids, sexual contact, blood transfusion, sharing of needles, and from mother to child.
If you plan on getting tested for HIV, check out this list of clinics where you can get tested, as well as what to expect during your first HIV testing. To learn more about the pREP pill, visit the Love Yourself website to learn more.
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