Cuba launched the free delivery of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PPrE) pill, which prevents the spread of HIV in healthy people, in the context of a program that is still undergoing testing, local media reported on Tuesday, market.
"We consider this as a combination therapy with the essential goal of changing risk behaviors," said Niura Pérez Castro, head of the municipal program on hepatitis / HIV / AIDS prevention and STIs. Likewise, Perez Castro said that the drug will be given to those people who have a higher risk of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus.
According to experts, the PPRE can reduce the risk of infection in more than 90% in people who are exposed to HIV if they take their medication every day. However, proper condom use is recommended to avoid contracting this and other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or syphilis.
Relatively new treatment in America
The pilot program, the work of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), began to be implemented last month in the northern municipality of Cárdenas, where there are 234 people with HIV and 30 new cases every year. At the moment 28 people who met the requirements received the mentioned pill at no cost.
There are currently about 23,000 HIV cases in this Latin American country – with a mortality rate of 17% – of which 83% receive antiretroviral treatment free of charge.
PrEP is a relatively new treatment in the American continent because, according to PAHO, only the US, Canada, Brazil, Bahamas and Barbados included it in its public health system until last year.
Official Information RT