United Arab Emirates: Sale of Drugs to Cut HIV Infection Allowed
November 7, 2008
The United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Health has approved the dispensing of eight antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) across the country, officials said recently. The drugs, if taken within 72 hours of exposure to the virus, can reduce the chances of HIV infection by about 79 percent.
PEP will be available only with a prescription and recommendation by health officials and/or the Ministry of Health.
"PEP is not 100 percent effective; it cannot guarantee that exposure to HIV will not become a case of HIV infection," Dr. Farida Al Hosani, senior regional officer for Public Health and Policies at Health Authority Abu Dhabi, said recently at a three-day HIV/AIDS workshop.
"We receive reports about the condition from people who had unsafe sex," Al Hosani said. A person who believes they have been exposed to HIV "should instantly contact us and we may give them an ARV to help reduce the chances" of infection, she said.
Gulf News (Dubai)
11.05.2008; Dina El Shammaa
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.