From how they’re spread to how they’re treated, our knowledge of STIs has never been greater. So why did the United States experience a record-breaking number of sexually transmitted infections in 2017?  

The answer may partially lie in Truvada for PrEP — a drug capable of preventing the spread of HIV by up to 93%.

The Rise of STIs and PrEP

If you’re at an increased risk of HIV, your doctor may prescribe you Truvada — a once a day pill that can significantly decrease your risk of getting HIV when coupled with other safe sex practices. While this sounds like an ideal solution for combating the HIV epidemic, it came with surprising consequences.

HIV is arguably one of the most feared STIs because, unlike many others, it’s incurable and life-threatening. After prescribing Truvada, doctors found that patients who previously used condoms during sex were now relying solely on Truvada to protect them from STIs. But the thing is, Truvada doesn’t prevent against STIs, it prevents the spread of HIV, exclusively.

Though Truvada has had some positive impact on HIV rates in America, it’s also been contributing to the rise of other STIs.

What doctors want patients taking Truvada to know is that the drug should be used in addition to condoms.

Other Contributing Factors to the Rise in STI Rates

PrEP is only one of the many factors contributing to the rise of STI rates in America. The increase is also driven by:

  • Dating apps. Casual dating apps make it fast and easy to find sexual partners.  
  • Decreased government funding. Both preventative and post-exposure treatment for those at a risk for and with HIV is lacking.
  • Abstinence-only sex education. Time and time again, abstinence-only programs have been proven to be ineffective. Despite the teachings, people (especially teens) continue to have sex and don’t know how to protect themselves.

CIRCLE CARE Center providers are happy to sit with patients for PrEP consultations. Please call 203.852.9525 to schedule a consultation.