‘PrEP for Sex’ packages available for HIV at-risk persons

Although the medication pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been introduced in Guyana two years ago, the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS) is recording a low usage of this medication.

PrEP is intended to prevent persons who are at risk of being infected with HIV.

Programme Manager of the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS), Dr Tariq Jagnarine

During an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) Wednesday last, NAPS’ Programme Manager, Dr Tariq Jagnarine said a new service called the ‘PrEP for Sex’ package has been launched to increase the use of the medication.

“This is a simple package that you collect. It supplies you with educational materials, condoms, and lubricants. It gives you an opportunity to access HIV self-testing and we’re putting two of these kits inside, so you can test not only yourself but your partner … Once you think you are at substantial risk, we can give you event-driven PrEP. You can use PrEP or we give you continuous PrEP, an entire bottle. In it, there are several brochures that link you to all of our sites,” Dr Jagnarine explained.

According to statistics provided to DPI, only 86 persons are accessing PrEP in Guyana.

PrEP can reduce the chances of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.

Persons can access the ‘PrEP for Sex’ package at any government health institution countrywide.

The ‘PrEP for Sex’ package is available at all the health ministry’s care and treatment sites

“Ideally, anyone of our care and treatment sites that are listed here. You can actually go to them, you can ask, and you can uplift it … the package prepares you for almost three months because a large number of condoms and lubricants (are in the package) … we try to create an environment for everything that is suited for you,” he noted.

The programme manager is urging anyone who thinks they are at substantial risk of getting infected with HIV to access the PrEP medication.

Very shortly, a multimedia-based programme will be launched to promote the use of PrEP as well as the HIV self-testing initiative.

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