Tuesday, April 23, 2024

HIV prevention medication available in San Pedro

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A new medication designed to prevent infection by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is available at all public health facilities countrywide, including San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. When taken as prescribed, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is considered highly effective in preventing the chances of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. The medication is free of cost, and anyone interested can visit the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II for more information.
PrEP is designed for anyone who is HIV-negative and presents a substantial risk of becoming infected with the virus. These include people with a partner that has HIV, has more than one sexual partner, and is having unprotected sex with multiple sex partners. PrEP also benefits those whose partner does not know their HIV status, or people having unprotected sex persons who may be injecting themselves with drugs and sharing needles.
Those interested can make an appointment at the island’s polyclinic to find out if they qualify for a prescription. PrEP will only be prescribed after the results of a medical exam, and screening test. The individual will also receive counseling and further information on how PrEP works. The person must also be willing to undergo routine check-ups every three months.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness advises people that PrEP is part of a combination prevention package and should not replace other effective HIV prevention interventions such as the use of a condom. Once the individual is approved, PrEP may need to be taken every day or as prescribed by a healthcare provider.

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