HIV in Canada: A primer for service providers

Biomedical Prevention Interventions

Key Points

  • Biomedical prevention interventions aim to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by reducing the risk that an exposure happens or by reducing the risk associated with an exposure.

Biomedical prevention interventions include the use of condoms, the use of vaccines, the use of microbicides, penile circumcision, treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the use of antiretroviral drugs by HIV-negative people (post-exposure prophylaxis and pre-exposure prophylaxis) and HIV-positive people (effective treatment to prevent transmission).

Biomedical prevention interventions aim to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by either reducing the risk that an exposure happens or by reducing the risk associated with an exposure.

Some biomedical prevention interventions have been found to be effective at reducing the risk of HIV transmission and are at various stages of implementation. Improved efforts are needed to make these interventions accessible to those who would most benefit from them and move them into practice in a way that is safe and effective. Other interventions are still under development and continued research is essential to expand the number of prevention interventions available to stop the spread of HIV.

To increase their effectiveness, all biomedical prevention interventions should be combined with a comprehensive sexual health plan that includes regular STI testing and treatment and ongoing adherence and risk-reduction counselling to reduce the risk HIV transmission.

Resources

Prevention Technologies

Source

Kippax S, Stephenson N. Beyond the distinction between biomedical and social dimensions of HIV prevention through the lens of a social public health. American Journal of Public Health. 2012 May;102(5):789–99.