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Public Health

High adherence to AIDS prevention

PrEP pills, shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection

Eduardo Cesar / Revista Pesquisa FAPESP

An international study that included the participation of Brazilian scientists observed a high adherence to Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among groups most vulnerable to HIV, which consisted of taking daily antiretroviral drugs to reduce the risk of being infected with the virus. The study involved 9,509 gay, bisexual, and other cisgender men who have sex with men (MSM), as well as transvestites and transgender women, with an average age of 29 years who tested negative for HIV. They were followed at specialist clinics in 11 cities in Brazil, three in Mexico, and six in Peru from February 2018 to June 2021. Exams showed that 60% of the participants adhered to the treatment long-term (almost one year). Only 58 participants (0.5%) contracted HIV, of which 30 were from Peru, indicating that MSM and transgender women are the most vulnerable to the virus (Lancet HIV, December 21). The treatment is offered by the public health system in Brazil and Mexico, but is still awaiting approval in Peru.