June 13, 2017

Young women can now protect themselves against HIV: Caprisa

Written by Lebo Tshangela

This post originally appeared on SABC News.

As delegates prepare to gather in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, for the SA AIDS Conference on Tuesday, the centre for the AIDS Programme Research in South Africa (Caprisa) says young women can now protect themselves against HIV.

His statement comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that a drug that prevents women from getting infected with HIV. Truvada is on the essential drugs list.

The main source of HIV in young girls between 14 and 24 are sleeping with men on average nine year older than they are.

Caprisa’s Director, Prof. Salim Abdool Karim says until now men were the only ones who could protect themselves against HIV with condoms and circumcision, now women can take Truvada.

Karim says, “The incidents rate for HIV continue to be high, unacceptably high and in particular it continues to be high among young women, young women continue to bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic and they continue to have the highest rate of HV in this country and they are in fact are the driving force if you look at our overall HIV incidents rate.”

He says the country cannot impact the overall incidents rate until they impact the young girls as they are key to controlling the HIV epidemic.

However, Karim says, “We now have a new technology that women can use. They don’t need the man’s permission. They can use it and it’s a daily tablet called Truvado. It’s up to them and they can use it and that is a new opportunity.”

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