During the 1980s, when the abbreviations HIV and AIDS emerged as major points of discussion across the United States, a diagnosis with one of these afflictions was widely seen as a death sentence. Fast forward three decades or so and, thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
For HIV patients in particular there’s a great deal of hope these days. That’s because there have been a number of highly significant breakthroughs in the war against HIV since the virus took hold roughly 35 years ago. So, what medical breakthroughs have changed how we view HIV?
In addition to microbicides, which can help prevent HIV from being transmitted during sex, pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) could play a key role in preventing HIV infections. Unlike microbicides, which are applied to the sexual organs, PrEP is a pill that, when taken daily, can effectively lower the chance one will become infected with HIV.
PrEP is aimed at people who are at high risk for becoming infected with HIV, like people who regularly engage in unprotected sex, share intravenous drugs, or share a relationship with someone who has HIV.