New Drug to Prevent HIV to be Introduced to the Caribbean

prep-400x210Steps are being taken to introduce the Caribbean to a pill that could  potentially aid in the prevention of the spread of HIV among high-risk groups in the region.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a daily antiretroviral pill which targets the virus in the earliest stages of its life cycle and prevents it from replicating. 

Persons who are HIV-negative but run a high risk of being infected are currently using the pill as a preventative measure.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that PrEP be added to the list of tools for HIV prevention, particularly since the treatment has been found to reduce the risk of HIV infection among high-risk groups by up to 92 percent.

The  International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), an international organization which advocates prevention of the spread of HIV, is hard at work bringing stakeholders from all over the world together to brainstorm for possible solutions for the spread of HIV.

According to Executive Director of ITPC Solange Baptiste, new infections worldwide have seen a decrease, but in the Caribbean between 2010 and 2015, there has been a nine percent increase in new infections.

She stated,

“The Caribbean is second only to Sub-Saharan Africa for the highest prevalence of HIV and the sharp nine percent increase is on the backdrop of a 20 percent decline. We are hoping to ensure that the population of Trinidad and Tobago and Latin America and the Caribbean, that the communities understand that this is everyone’s business and not just “those” people because once you come into unsafe contact with body fluids, you are at risk, blood, semen, vaginal, rectal, whatever, you are at risk and you need to protect yourself.”

Baptiste also called on Caribbean nationals to educate themselves, call their National Aids Coordinating Committees, speak to their community health authorities and ask and demand things they now know about.

By: Danielle Dixon

Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani



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