posted on 09/01/2021 3:49 PM
(credit: Geovana Albuquerque/Agência Saúde-DF)
From this Wednesday (1st/9), the public health network of the Federal District begins to provide the medicine used for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to HIV for patients with prescriptions prescribed by doctors in the private health network. Until now, access was only possible from receipts issued by professionals in the public network. The Ministry of Health (MS) elected the DF as one of the pilot federative units of the Project “PrEP in Supplementary Health”.
As soon as patients acquire the medical order, they can withdraw the drugs at the Antiretroviral Drugs Dispensing Units. As it follows the MS Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines. According to the manager of Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Beatriz Maciel Luz, availability to the private sector will increase the offer of PrEP, supporting more people.
“It is an important advance for HIV prevention strategies. In the Federal District, care and dispensing for PrEP in the SUS are available at Hospital Dia, Hospital Universitário de Brasília (HUB) and, as of today, at Policlínica de Taguatinga. The dispensing of PrEP medications prescribed by private physicians will be available at the Polyclinics UDMs of Taguatinga, Lago Sul, Ceilândia and the Pharmacy School of the HUB, from September 1st”, explains Beatriz.
What is PrEp?
HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is equivalent to the use of antiretrovirals (ARV) to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection. This strategy proved to be effective and safe in people at increased risk of acquiring the infection.
PrEP is part of HIV combination prevention strategies. The combination prevention toolkit also includes: HIV testing; HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP); regular use of condoms; timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs); harm reduction; vulnerability management; suppression of viral replication by antiretroviral treatment; immunizations.
“In Brazil, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is concentrated in some population segments that account for the majority of new cases of the infection, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people and sex workers. In addition, the growth of HIV infection in adolescents and young people stands out”, explains Beatriz.
According to the manager, in addition to presenting a greater risk of acquiring HIV, these people are often subject to situations of discrimination, being the target of stigma and prejudice, which thus increases their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
“For these cases, PrEP is included as an additional prevention strategy available in the SUS, with the objective of reducing the transmission of HIV and contributing to the achievement of goals related to the end of the epidemic”, he says.
For PrEP prescription, the professional will be registered in the Antiretroviral Medicines Logistics Control System (Siclom) by the pharmacist of the Medicines Dispensing Unit (UDM), so the name and the CRM must be legible. It is up to the prescribing professional to accompany the user with the scheduling of follow-up appointments in order to ensure continuity of care, the supply of medications and compliance with the regularity of HIV testing.
The user must attend one of the UDM and deliver the documents. In addition, comply with the deadline of up to seven days after the rapid HIV test or laboratory anti-HIV test (with non-reactive result) to withdraw the PrEP at the UDM (preferably as soon as possible).
If the user misses the deadline above, he must perform a new test and present it to the prescribing physician to fill in a new form. The user must also be careful not to miss the deadlines for follow-up appointments in order to guarantee the continuity of PrEP without interruption due to lack of medication. Afterwards, all you have to do is withdraw the medications, preferably at the UDM where it was initially registered.
PrEP is not for everyone. It is indicated for those who are at higher risk of coming into contact with HIV.
*With information from the DF Health Department