Injectable PrEP safe for Malawians

Director of HIV and AIDS Programmes in the Ministry of Health, Rose Nyirenda, has said that the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is safe and will ensure the elimination of HIV as a public health threat by 2030.

She made these remarks during a press briefing that the Ministry of Health through the Directorate of HIV and National AIDS Commission organised to elucidate the miscommunication surrounding the newly introduced injectable PrEP.

She indicated that injectable PrEP is currently available in several health facilities.

“These health facilities include Chilomoni Health Centre, Limbe MACRO, Naperi Drop Centre in Blantyre, and in Lilongwe the health facilities include Area 25 Health Centre, Bwaila Hospital and Area 47 Drop Centre respectively,” she added.

She further indicated that the mentioned six health facilities will provide the most practical, and effective strategies of delivering the injectable PrEP before scaling up to additional 41 selected health facilities across the country.

The Director also disclosed that the injectable PrEP can be used by anyone who has reached 15 years and is at substantial risk of contracting HIV as screened by the health care provider.

“This may include among those that are substantially female sexual workers, some pregnant and/or prestigious women who can transmit to their babies, truck drivers who sometimes may have multiple partners among many others,” she disclosed.

Nyirenda emphasised that PrEP is not a vaccine against HIV and does not offer protection to individuals if they have been exposed to HIV, and also doesn’t prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections.

She further emphasised that the vaccine is only active for two months hence a need to be vaccinated every other two months.

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