Brazil has begun implementing a new method to reduce the risk of transmission of the HIV virus, according to the Ministry of Health. The HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (ImPrEP) project was developed by the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectology (INI), part of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).Brazil has begun implementing a new method to reduce the risk of transmission of the HIV virus, according to the Ministry of Health. The HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (ImPrEP) project was developed by the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectology (INI), part of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).

Initially, 7,500 non-infected people from Brazil, Mexico and Peru will be assisted by the project, making Brazil a pioneer in the implementation of prophylaxis as a public policy.

Antiretroviral drugs will be administered every day to prevent contamination. According to INI Director Valdiléia Veloso (photo), the target audience of the project are men who have sex with men and transsexual/transvestite women. Professionals at HIV testing sites will also help the target population learn more about ImPreP and invite those interested to participate.

The Ministry of  Health will donate antiretrovirals to the states of Amazonas, Pernambuco, Bahia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, Santa Catarina and the Rio Grande do Sul. About 3,000 Brazilians are expected to start receiving doses as of September.

ImPreP aims to reduce infection rates in the country, which reach 44,000 per year. A total 830,000 people were living with HIV in Brazil in 2015, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The ImPrEP will last for three years. The project is joined by teaching and research institutions of the three countries and has received US$ 20 million funding from Unitaid, a global non-profit initiative that encourages the development of new methods for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

Source: BrazilGovNews