Guidelines for HIV drug PrEP coming soon
− talks to begin on transgender medicine
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, has announced that guidelines are coming for the use of HIV drug Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The drug is for people who do not have HIV but who are at very high risk of getting HIV. The pill, to prevent HIV is taken daily.
On Friday, Minister Anthony told DPI for World AIDS Day 2020, the Ministry of Health plans to introduce a more comprehensive guideline for use of the drug.
“The Ministry would shortly release guidelines pertaining to that, and for those persons who would be eligible for PrEP to ensure a proper roll out. We believe that with a comprehensive programme for PrEP, we can prevent many infections from happening. It is estimated that we have a lot of new infections and PrEP is one way that we can reduce new infections for HIV.”
Minister Anthony said a partial programme is already in place for several ‘discordant couples.’ A discordant couple is a pair of long-term sexual partners where one has a sexually transmitted infection and the other does not. Dr. Anthony said this programme would be expanded.
“We want to expand to ensure anyone who is at risk for HIV would have access, so that’s a new introduction, a new thing that we want to do. We will be partnering with a number of clinics across the country to ensure this happens, partnering with a number of persons and NGOs who would normally offer care of persons at risk and persons who have HIV.”
The Ministry will also begin the discussion on improving transgender medicine.
“We are planning a set of webinars with persons who have been affected by HIV, and those webinars include looking at transgender medicine, because that’s a need, we do have a number of transgender persons who are HIV positive and we need to have more specialised care for those persons who need that particular type of care,” he said.
World AIDS Day is observed annually on December 1. The day has been dedicated since 1988 for raising awareness about the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infection and for mourning those who died of the disease.