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PREP IS GLOBALLY ACCEPTED AS PREVETION TOOL - AVAC

Madrid, Oct. 24 -- AVAC Tracking Global Oral Prep Provision reveals that oral Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) has gained acceptability as a tool for prevention since approved in 2012.

AVAC Programme Coordinator Laura Fitch disclosed that 309, 525 individuals actually initiated the product globally, while their target was 422, 487. She added that 68 countries have begun offering Prep in some form.

She indicated that actual initiations in Sub-Saharan Africa is 49, 126, while the target was 141, 754. She noted that this means that they managed to reach 15 percent of their goal.

The Programme Coordinator stated that globally, demonstration projects account for 71 percent of all programmes for men who have sex with other men (MSM), followed by implementation projects (19%) and national programmes.

She indicated that globally, the populations most frequently initiated on Prep are MSM, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), female sex workers and serodiscordant couples.

She further pointed out that majority of Prep users in Sub-Saharan Afrca are AGYM.

When explaining the contents of Jhpiego Lesotho poster at the HIVR4P conference, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Research Officer Ms. Mathabang Mokoena said Lesotho men are interested and willing to take Prep and want to know where they can access it, however, they have some concerns in taking it daily.

She noted that those men disclosed that if one partner in a couple is to take Prep, distrust and suspicions would ensue. She added that those men perceived that the use of Prep will reduce condom use.

She stated that to address those concerns, the organisation decided to invest in male-focused services as well as offering high-quality respectful and efficient services by older male providers.

Ms. Mokoena indicated that they also considered views of AGYW and male partners to continue to inform service delivery and demand creation.

Lesotho has the second highest HIV prevalence rate in the world 25 % of people, or one in four people in the country are living with HIV. Over half of the 300,000 adults living with HIV in Lesotho are women. There are currently more than 200,000 orphans in Lesotho, most of whom are AIDS orphans.

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