As a follow up to the World AIDS Day and to commemorate the Human Rights Day 2020, on December 10, Centre for Sexuality and Health Research and Policy (C-SHaRP) and The Humsafar Trust (HST) hosted a virtual event to understand how far India has come in terms of adopting HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO). The discussion comes at a time when COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and threatening the achievements already made for HIV prevention in the country.
The event focused on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a highly effective medicine for preventing HIV and emphasised on the relevance of human health rights – having the right and access to affordable medicines to protect one’s health. Speakers and panellists discussed the current status and way forward on scaling up PrEP programmes in India. Nearly all speakers agreed that there is an urgent need to generate awareness with accurate information and to understand the demand for PrEP – a step to ending global and national goal of ending HIV by 2030. Further, it was highlighted that ending stigma related to HIV and prevention of the virus must be high prioritised.
Panelists at the ‘PrEP-ing India – Update on HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis and Way Forward’ Event
Explaining the best practices on PrEP, Dr. Kenneth H Mayer, Professor, Harvard Medical School said, “PrEP has been shown to be highly effective in protecting against HIV when taken consistently in multiple studies and real-world settings. The keys to optimal PrEP implementation are having clinicians who are knowledgeable about the medications, who can provide culturally competent counseling, and informed consumers, who understand that adherence is the cornerstone of PrE