Explain to us where AIDS prevention is at

There is prevention treatment, free for people at risk, but also treatment to enable HIV-positive people not to transmit HIV. However, only the condom provides 100% protection against all sexually transmitted infections.



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Pre-exposure prophylaxis protects against HIV contamination.  Illustrative photo (JOEL GOODMAN/LNP / MAXPPP)

Since 2016, France has authorized the taking of a tablet to protect against HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. Nicknamed “PrEP” for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, this tablet is called “Prophylaxie pré-exposure” in French. Taken every day, it is effective thanks to antiretrovirals active against HIV, but not against other sexually transmitted infections. This preventive treatment is 100% covered by Health Insurance on medical prescription, from the age of 15, for people at high risk of catching HIV.

In the first half of 2023, more than 52,800 people used PrEP in France. But among the tools for preventing AIDS, it must be remembered that the condom remains the most effective. It is the only way to protect yourself from HIV, but also from all other STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

Since 2023, condoms have been free in pharmacies for those under 26. And if the condom ever slips or tears during risky sex, you can take emergency post-exposure treatment. The earlier you start, the more effective it will be. Preferably within the next few hours, and maximum within 48 hours.

Living with HIV without transmitting it

If you are HIV positive, there is now a treatment that prevents HIV transmission. The TASP (“Treatment as Prevention”), or treatment as prevention, is a method to significantly reduce the HIV viral load. This becomes very weak, undetectable, and therefore untransmittable during sexual intercourse.

But that’s not all: this treatment, if it begins very soon after the discovery of HIV status, makes it possible to maintain life expectancy close to that of an HIV-negative person.

These different methods of preventing HIV contamination have made it possible to reduce new HIV infections by 59% worldwide, compared to the peak in 1995. In France, in 2022, just over 4,200 people will discover their HIV status. .

Since 2010, the drop in new cases in the country is estimated between 11% and 21%. According to the latest figures, heterosexual relations represented the majority of contaminations.

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