HIV / AIDS still presents a challenge that is not novel to Kenya, Africa and the world at a whole. Pre-exposure prophylaxis has been used widely in the last few years and advanced pharma technology is still keen in eradicating the disease and or minimising its effects.
The Kenyan government will next month roll out a new drug meant to protect HIV-negative people from contracting the virus. This is a drug whose clinlcal trials may have been recently concluded and and therefore the pharmacovigilance part of it is highly in its prime steps.
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) will be given to those at high risk of contracting the virus before being made accessible to the general public. Pilot studies conducted in Kenya and Uganda showed that if taken once daily, the drugs can prevent HIV infection by more than 96 %..The drug is taken before exposure to risk of infection. To build adequate protection, people will need to take one pill daily for seven days.
TRUVADA IS MADE OF emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg)
Apart from the general public, most populations of concern are discordant couples, where the HIV-negative partner can be put on the drug, people with multiple sexual partners, individuals who have had sexually transmitted infections (STIs), people who inject drugs, people who have had recurrent use of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), sex workers and those who do not use condoms consistently.
Speaking while announcing the roll-out, the head of National AIDS and STI Control Program Dr Martin Sirengo said the drug has been included in the current HIV prevention methods.
A combination of PrEP and other protection mechanisms include use of condoms, regular tests and responsible relationships i.e one sexual partner at a time. In 2016, the government introduced PrEP, becoming the second country in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa to issue full regulatory approval of the method, which uses antiretroviral drugs to protect HIV-negative people from getting infected.
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BY SAMMERION NYAWARA.