A study conducted between 2015 and 2018 in Australia with 2,404 people, which started using PrEP, with the majority being gay cisgender men who had never used it before, and recently published by Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Network), concluded that there was a stopping the growth of gonorrhea and chlamydia cases and that no participant became infected with HIV. The information was provided by UOL columnist and infectious disease physician Rico Vasconcelos.
Before the study, the percentage of participants with positive results for syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia was 50% and had been growing about 8% each quarter. Another point that changed when compared to the pre and post-PrEP periods was the frequency of annual testing for STIs carried out by the participants, rising from an average of 3 to 4.5 per year.
“This information is essential to understand the impact on the growth of STIs because, with more tests, cases of STIs are diagnosed and cured, interrupting the transmission of these bacteria to new people” – says the column.
“Although PrEP may cause some degree of disinhibition in sexual practices, it does not occur universally among its users, and it is not even able to undermine the potential benefit in the control of HIV and other STIs, as shown by this and others studies.” – points Rico.
“All the studies published in recent years have shown the same thing: engaging the population most vulnerable to STIs in combined Prevention monitoring, with periodic testing and PrEP is currently the best alternative for the control of these epidemics. Scientific evidence is not lacking to guide public health actions in this area. What we need now to control HIV and other STIs is investment and the will of the government to implement the actions. Always remembering that the fight must be against STIs and not against sex” – concludes the infectious disease physician.