The main aim of treatment is to prevent long term complications of HIV infection. Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Disoproxil is used as Pre exposure Prophylaxis ( PrEP) treatment and is used to help patient prevent HIV infection. It is also used in combination with other retrovirals to treat HIV infection.
Taking PrEP before being exposed to HIV means there’s enough drug inside you to block HIV if it gets into your body - before it has the chance to infect you.
The medication used for PrEP is a tablet called Truvada, which contains tenofovir and emtricitabine (drugs commonly used to treat HIV)
Patients using PrEP may experience rashes, headaches, abnormal dreams, nausea and diarrhoea. Change in weight may also affect users. All patients taking this medication must undertake blood tests for white cell count, kidney and liver function.
PrEP should be taken on a regular basis in order to have an effective prevention therapy
If you’re thinking about getting PrEP from outside the NHS, it’s important that you talk to an adviser from a sexual health clinic. They will support you to use the treatment safely and provide necessary tests.
In most big PrEP studies, no one became infected if they took PrEP as recommended. But if you don't take it correctly, it may not work.
The drugs used in PrEP are the same drugs that are prescribed to thousands of people living with HIV every year. They’re very safe and serious side effects are very rare.
A few people experience nausea, headaches or tiredness and, very rarely, the medication can affect kidney function. As a precaution, people taking PrEP have regular kidney function tests.
It’s important if you’re using PrEP that you go for regular STI screenings every three months.
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