The new Canadian HIV guidelines might help prevent infections in high-risk populations. These now recommend the use of a new medicine for people who are HIV-negative but are part of high-risk populations. To offer protection, these new medications should be taken before and after the exposure to the virus.
New HIV Guidelines and Their Advice
The new guidelines were published in the CMAJ. They recommended pre-exposure prophylaxis and the regular use of antiretroviral medication. Also, after the exposure, people from high-risk populations are advised to continue the treatment with non-occupational prophylaxis and the antiretroviral drug.
People can be exposed to HIV when injecting drugs or after sexual intercourse. These new HIV guidelines provide a biomedical intervention that might help people prevent the infection. The authors of the guidelines mentioned that these medications should only be taken after receiving a doctor’s approval. Also, there are precautionary methods which don’t treat a preexisting HIV infection.
“In particular, PrEP is a highly effective and safe Health Canada-approved method that involves taking a daily pill, which, if taken properly, can offer almost 100 percent protection against new HIV infection,” mentioned the author of the guidelines, Darrell Tan.
People should combine the medications from the HIV guidelines with other prevention strategies such as risk reduction counseling and condoms. These guidelines are important, especially in populations that present a high risk and rate of HIV infections. For instance, injection drug users are 59% more likely to contract HIV than non-users.
Economic reports also showed that the new HIV guidelines, when followed by high-risk populations, are cost-effective prevention methods. These new guidelines are generally similar to the ones in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The authors of the study mentioned that they want to help the country reduce or even eliminate the number of new HIV infections. They consider that, if these guidelines are followed, the number of new HIV infections could drop significantly.
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