Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system, weakening and destroying important cells that are necessary to fight disease and infection. Though there’s no known cure for HIV at this time, pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) has proven to be highly effective at protecting high-risk individuals from contracting the disease.
This article provides an overview of pre-exposure prophylaxis, highlighting the specialty medications and adherence programs that Avella offers to support HIV/AIDS patients and their loved ones.
An Overview of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
Having an ongoing sexual relationship with someone who was HIV-positive used to be nearly impossible without contracting the illness—but times have changed, thanks to an innovative prescription for HIV prevention.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a combination of two medications that work together to prevent high-risk individuals from contracting HIV. In the event that someone is exposed to HIV through sexual activity with an HIV-positive partner or injection drug use, these medications can work together to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
Avella and BriovaRx stock both of the specialty drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pre-exposure prophylaxis, Descovy and Truvada. Both are two-drug, antiviral combinations that contain emtricitabine and tenofovir for PrEP to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. A slight difference to note is that Descovy uses a newer form of tenofovir than Truvada—otherwise, the drugs are highly similar.
How Avella and BriovaRx Support Medication Adherence
Studies have shown that pre-exposure prophylaxis reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex with an infected partner by about 99 percent when taken daily—but therein lies the problem. The key to the most successful outcomes require patients to adhere to a strict daily regimen. For individuals who take PrEP daily, the presence of the medicine in the bloodstream can often stop HIV from taking hold and spreading.
PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV, but only when patients adhere to their prescribed treatment plan by taking it every day. Missed doses greatly increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV, which is why proper adherence is critical for optimal protection from the virus.
Avella and BriovaRx make every effort to support medication adherence or taking medications as prescribed. We are community partners of Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U), a global movement with a mission to increase HIV awareness, reduce stigma, and promote adherence to prescribed treatment plans. Over 870 organizations have partnered with U=U alongside Avella + BriovaRx to share the mission and better support patient communities.
In addition to joining the U=U movement, Avella supports medication adherence with a free text messaging program that reminds patients when it’s time to take or refill a medication. Along with medication dosing and refill reminders, the interactive program sends weekly progress reports on goals for taking medicine correctly and offers optional text message alerts for caregivers. To that end, Avella and BriovaRx have rolled out the Digital Calling Card platform to help patients get notifications from their specialty pharmacy in a timely manner.
Whether you’re treating HIV or preventing its transmission with pre-exposure prophylaxis, Avella has the medications and resources you need to ensure you are on the most effective treatment plan to meet your needs. Learn more about the different ways that our specialty pharmacies support HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.