Government to give Kenyans aged 15 and above drug that prevents contracting HIV.Editor's Choice, Featured Articles, Lifestyle 05:11
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - The Kenyan government has announced a plan to make available a drug meant to protect HIV - people from contracting the virus (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to all Kenyans aged 15 and above from next month.
This comes after pilot studies carried in Kenya and Uganda showed that the drug can prevent HIV infection by at least 96 per cent if taken once daily.
People at high risk of contracting the virus such as discordant couples, people with multiple s3xual partners, individuals who have had s3xually transmitted infections (STIs), people who inject drugs, s3x workers, victims of s3xual violence will be prioritized ahead of the rest of the population.
Dr. Martin Sirengo, the head of National AIDS and STI Control Program, who announced the roll-out, confirmed that the drug has been included in the current HIV prevention methods.
“If you have exposed yourself to HIV, for example by having unprotected sex with someone who is living with HIV or coming into contact with infected body fluid, taking PrEP correctly can stop the virus from establishing itself in your body,” Sirengo said.
“It is more effective when used with condoms, safer sex practices and other HIV prevention methods, but it is not a vaccine.”
He added: “You must be 15 years and above and you must visit a public hospital to be tested for HIV. If you are negative, then you qualify.”
The drugs have side effects which last for a short period such as headache, weight loss, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort.