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Uncertainties About Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Against HIV

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 206

While it doesn't get the headlines that it once did, HIV is still a serious problem and there are doctors across the world focusing all of their efforts on developing cures and preventative measures to help fight this viral scourge. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is an option that is in the trial phase now and isn't yet available in Australia. It does show real promise, however, but there are many uncertainties about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV. This is evident in a new study which found that only one out of every four gay men in Australia are even willing to try the treatment to help stave off HIV.

The study's results are interesting, and highlight the many uncertainties about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV. Those surveyed were first explained just what PrEP consists of - that it is a type of medication used by HIV negative people before they have intercourse in an effort to prevent infection by HIV. It's not an immunization by any means, but does show promising results in some trials. The explanation didn't go into the details of any trial results, however. After this explanation was given to the men in the study, they were then asked nine basic questions.

Their responses to these questions help to cast more understanding on the issues surrounding the uncertainties about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV. Questions were yes and no in nature and included things like "I'm concerned about the side effects that could be associated with PrEP" or "I'm willing to use PrEP". These were answered on a five point scale by the participants and then the scores were totaled. Questions about condoms were also asked, including a patient's willingness to use a condom, the reduced sensations when wearing a condom, and the difficulty in discussing condom use with their partner.

The results were surprising. As mentioned above, one in four gay Australian men said they would be willing to use PrEP while the rest wouldn't due to their uncertainties about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV. Only fifty six percent of those questioned said that they used condoms regularly during anal sex with multiple partners, and only twenty nine percent used one during sex with a regular partner. Obviously, the risk of HIV infection is still very high among gay men in Australia. PrEP holds a possible solution, but as long as uncertainties about it exist it will be difficult to convince those at risk to actually use it.

International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases (ISHEID): the world leading AIDS experts will gather for the 2012 HIV AIDS ISHEID conference in Marseille, France, May 23-25, 2012. The general AIDS conference theme will be 'From Universal HIV Testing to HIV Cure'.

Source: EzineArticles
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