Between July and September, 383 Costa Ricans are reported under treatment that prevents the transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), confirmed Dr. Gloria Terwes Posada, coordinator of the HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections Program of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS ).
It is a pilot plan developed by the CCSS that is based on a pill called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) that prevents the transmission of the virus. “In general it is super accessible, it is tedious because you have to go at least twice in person, but for everything else the process is super easy”, Luis, (who asked to protect his identity), a patient who has been carrying approximately one month in the treatment, ingesting a daily pill and who does not report side effects.
Something similar told this media Josué Meza Valverde, another Tico who hopes to receive his medication the other week. “It is accessible, but you have to be patient because I had to go to the Central Clinic (Carmen-Montes de Oca) and ask for the doctor, stand in line and the appointment was given for almost a month and a half later. I had to go directly to the clinic because they never answered by phone,” he adds.
“This pilot plan is available for men who have sex with men, who are the majority of the people registered in the project, trans women and serodiscordant partners, this is when a member of the couple is not HIV positive. The largest number of registered people are between the ages of 20 and 34,” said Dr. Terwes.
The plan is offered in the health areas of Carmen-Montes de Oca, Mata Redonda Hospital, Heredia Cubujuquí and Marcial Rodriguez. There are two forms of treatment, each scheme is assigned by the doctor based on the needs of each user. One is for daily intake (under this modality there are 338 people) and the other is a pill that is taken before and after sexual intercourse (45 people with this scheme).
Jose Cambronero has a Master’s degree in HIV infection and explains that “to start PrEP, it is important to be attached and responsible with taking it daily or on demand (depending on the scheme) and combining it with other strategies such as the use of a condom because it prevents HIV but not other STIs.
- Insured. Not in debt with the CCSS.
- Valid identification document.
- Belonging to the selected population (men who have sex with men, trans women and serodiscordant partners).
- Do not present any antecedent that contraindicates prophylaxis, such as: people who have a history of kidney injury, or who are seropositive (they can transmit the virus but do not have the disease), also those people who have alterations in bone density, who have presented pathological bone fractures and people who are carriers of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Commit to clinical prescribing to ensure HIV prevention