Introduction

Since its identification in the early 1980s as a disease-causing agent, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been a major focus of public health initiatives worldwide. Identifying effective treatment and prevention interventions has resulted in significant improvements in life expectancy and quality of life of people living with HIV, and reduced infection rates amongst people at risk of acquiring HIV.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Define pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
  • Summarise the dosing regimens, interactions, benefits and limitations.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1

Accreditation number: CAP1910MUKO

For decades, prevention of HIV transmission focused on barrier methods, particularly condoms, abstinence and serosorting, the process of selecting a sexual partner based on their HIV status – each with varying levels of effectiveness.

Recently, the advent of biomedical prevention using antiretroviral (ARV) agents has dramatically altered the landscape of HIV prevention. Referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis – or PrEP – this once-daily intervention is now widely available in Australia and has the potential to drastically reduce, and even eliminate, HIV transmission at a population level.

Test your knowledge on this article’s assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.