HIV in Canada: A primer for service providers

 

Highly Effective HIV Prevention Strategies

Key Points

  • There are four highly effective prevention strategies.

Four HIV prevention interventions are considered highly effective at reducing the risk of HIV transmission. They include:

  • The consistent and correct use of condoms
  • The consistent and correct use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) by people with HIV to maintain an undetectable viral load
  • The consistent and correct use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • The consistent and correct use of harm reduction interventions (needle and syringe programs, opioid agonist therapy and safe consumption services)

Improved efforts are needed to raise awareness about these interventions and make them accessible to those who may be at risk for HIV and people with HIV. In addition to these highly effective strategies, several additional risk reduction strategies can also help to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

Discussions about HIV prevention should always include information about these highly effective HIV prevention strategies and the additional risk reduction strategies that are available. To maximize effectiveness, HIV prevention strategies should be combined within a comprehensive sexual health and harm reduction plan. This can include regular STI testing and treatment, and ongoing counselling to support a variety of risk-reduction approaches and adherence to prevention strategies.

Resources

CATIE statement on the use of condoms as a highly effective strategy to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV

CATIE statement on the use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a highly effective strategy to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV

CATIE statement on the use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) to maintain an undetectable viral load as a highly effective strategy to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV

Harm reduction in action: Supervised consumption services and overdose prevention sites – Prevention in Focus

Best Practices for Canadian Harm Reduction Programs