Kenyan Government Set To Give Away HIV Prevention Drugs To Select High Risk Population

The Kenyan government is set to give away a new HIV prevention drug next month which is meant to help people not contract the virus.

The new drug which underwent successful pilot studies in Kenya and Uganda is called Pre-exposure Prophylaxis.

According to the studies, the new drug can prevent HIV infection by more than 96 percent and is to be taken before exposure to the risk of infection. The pill will need to be taken once a day for seven days to build adequate protection.

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The government has indicated that the drug will be given to those at high-risk of contracting the virus before being made accessible to the rest of the country.

The high-risk population includes discordant couples where the HIV-negative partner will be put on the drug, people with multiple sexual partners and people with sexually transmitted infections.

Others include those who abuse drugs by injection, people who have had recurrent use of post-exposure prophylaxis, sex workers and those who do not favor or consistently use condoms.

Dr. Martin Sirengo, head of the National AIDS and STI Control Program said during the announcement of the Kenyan government’s plan that the drug has been included in the current HIV prevention methods.

”If you have decided to use pre-exposure prophylaxis, you must complement it with other methods of protection such as condom use, HIV testing and counseling and voluntary medical male circumcision for men.”

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The doctor went on to reveal that the drug will be prescription only saying that although it will be available to everybody, they will need to be assessed by a healthcare provider.

Kenya is now the second country in Sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa to issue full regulatory approval of the new HIV prevention drug.