Brazil Announces Free PrEP Provision As A State Policy
Truvada will be offered as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) method for those who are in risk groups, announced Ministry of Health of Brazil on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Health of Brazil announced on Wednesday, Truvada drug (combination of antiretroviral tenofovir and emtricitabine) was proposed as an HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) method for at-risk groups. Such strategy assumes a daily drug intake by people who do not have the HIV, but who have a high risk of transmission of the virus from the HIV-positive partner. These are people like sex workers, serodiscordant couples (where one has a virus, and the other does not), transgender men and women and men who have sex with men (MSM)
The government believes that the strategy will benefit 7,000 Brazilians from key at-risk groups. To get medications, the patient must be examined and consulted by a specialist before PrEP prescription to determine if this person is at risk of getting HIV. However, the prescription of PrEP does not relieve a person from other preventive measures, such as the use of condoms, periodic testing for HIV and the treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Brazilian officials expect PrEP to be available in the United Brazilian healthcare system (SUS) in six months after publishing the clinical protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines. The publication demanded next Monday, the ministry said.
According to the Minister of Health of Brazil Ricardo Barros, the government invested 1.9 million dollars in buying 2.5 million tablets of Truvada. Such a volume should be sufficient to meet demand during the first year of the program. Barros also noted that Brazil would become one of the first countries in the world and the first in Latin America, where the free provision of PrEP for risk groups became part of state policy.