Sexual Health news - HIV

Optimal use of PrEP may reduce chances of drug resistance

One concern that the medical community has regarding widespread use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, to prevent HIV infection is that the medication may potentially lead to resistance of the drug.

However, using a computer model, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Biomedical Modeling discovered that combining PrEP with current HIV treatment programs may decrease the risk of drug resistance. This positive effect would require patients to strictly adhere to treatment.

Additionally, researchers noted that the nations and regions in which the therapy is promoted may make a difference in slowing the spread of HIV.

"By cutting down infections, the PrEP programs will decrease the number entering treatment programs, and therefore, fewer individuals will acquire drug resistance," said senior author Sally Blower. "So introducing PrEP around the worst treatment programs will have the most impact on reducing resistance."

The most effective strategy against HIV/AIDS is prevention. Individuals can help protect themselves against these and other sexually transmitted diseases by using condoms and getting tested regularly.