World health organization

2012 in review: key health issues

A pharmacist dispenses antiretrovirals at the Mosoriot HIV/AIDS clinic in Kenya

Guidance on use of antiretrovirals by HIV-negative people to prevent infection

On 20 July, just before the XIX International AIDS Conference, WHO issued its first guidance to countries considering offering HIV medication, known as antiretrovirals (ARVs), to HIV-negative people at high risk to protect them from infection. The recommendations were based on clinical trials indicating that a daily dose of ARVs taken by HIV-negative people, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is both safe and effective in preventing HIV. Studies showed that PrEP can reduce HIV infection by up to 75% among people who take their medicine regularly.

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