On Monday, the newspaper Le Soir reported that Belgium will become the second country in the world, after the United States, to test the use of an AIDS prevention drug. This is what is called “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” where an HIV negative person takes anti-retrovirals to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This is part of the federal plan against AIDS launched last year by the Minister of Health, Laurette Onkelinx. “Our ambition is that the first usage of this drug be part of a pilot project,” she says, adding that people need to be aware that this “strategy, which can display up to 90% risk reduction, does not in any way replace the condom, is purely complementary and still needs to be refined. “
The Institute of Tropical Medecine, spending a total of 120,000 euros, will be the leader of this innovative experiment.
The Minister also announced that 2 new AIDS reference centers will also be created. One will be located in Bruges while the other will be in Mount Godinne bringing the total of centers to 11. “This should provide support for 500 additional patients,” she added.
Lorraine Torry (Source: Belga)