Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, Prep prescriptions have fallen by 80%. This treatment helps to avoid becoming infected with HIV. But from June 1, no need to go to the hospital to get it, a city doctor can prescribe it.
It is a major advance in the fight against AIDS, while there are still at least 6,000 new contaminations per year in France. From Wednesday June 1, an excellent means of prevention becomes more accessible: Prep, pre-exposure prophylaxis. This drug allows avoid contamination in more than 90% of cases. It will be able to be prescribed by a city doctor, “whether in renewal of prescription or in first prescription”, as the Minister of Health recalled at the end of May on his Twitter account.
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Too little prescription
Since the start of the health crisis, the first prescriptions for this treatment have fallen by 80%. Until now, to benefit from it, you had to go to a free screening and diagnosis center. (CeGIDD) or at the hospital. What to discourage patients while hospitals are saturated because of the epidemic. City doctors were not allowed to make this prescription.
“The health crisis has highlighted the drop in screening activity for HIV (-10%) and bacterial STIs (-6%) in 2020, and the decrease in the use of PrEP”, estimates the Ministry of Health. “There were 650,000 screenings”, HIV less since the start of the epidemic, had alerted the president of Sidaction last March.
La Prep, how does it work?
This medicine is made up of two antiretrovirals in one tablet. It can be taken in two ways: either daily or the day before unprotected sex then for the next two days. According to the Aides association, “when the drug is taken according to the schedule indicated, the risk of contamination is minimal “.
The Prep is available in France validated since 2016, but there are too few beneficiaries. Less than 30,000 patients are identified, which is insufficient to break the transmissions. Its use is also insufficient in men who have sex with men. It is almost anecdotal with other audiences. For example, there are only 3% women.
A French study carried out over three years on 3000 patients in Île-de-France revealed almost 100% efficiency. Only six HIV infections were to be deplored, because the treatment had been poorly followed. “We must change the scale”, claimed a few weeks ago the National Council of AIDS and viral hepatitis. That’s it.
But facilitating this prescription is one thing, knowing that the Prep exists is another. Only the Aides association carried out an information campaign for the general public in 2018.