Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is the hot topic in HIV prevention at the moment, but so far there has been little heard from women on the subject. This Twitter chat, hosted by IDS via @IDS_UK and using #PrEPChat, seeks to widen the debate and generate discussion.
Clinical trials have shown that when taken regularly by a HIV-negative person before exposure to the virus, particular combinations of anti-retroviral medication prevent transmission more than 90 per cent of the time.
PrEP creates a complicated set of ethical, legal, policy and practical challenges. Many of these relate to gender, equity and rights, as looked at in the IDS Briefing ‘Implications of PrEP Medication as HIV Prevention for Sex Workers‘. However, to date we have heard little from women – including those considered prime candidates for PrEP – in the advocacy to increase access and the policy discussions that are framing how the medication is allocated.
For the potential of PrEP to avert HIV transmissions it is crucial that it be accessible, affordable, accurately targeted to those who need it and that misuse be prevented. This means ensuring that the right mix of prescribing guidelines, education for providers, users and the broader community, health services and protections against abuse and discrimination are in place.
To widen the conversation we will bring together a panel of people who are exploring these issues:
- Sophie Strachan, Sophia Forum @SophiaForum
- Cheryl Overs, Institute of Development Studies, @CherylOvers
- Peninah Mwangi, Bar Hostess Association @PeninahMwangi2
- Dr. Wanjiru Mukoma, LVCT Health @LVCTKe
- Alex Phillips, Terrence Higgins Trust, @THTorguk
- Juno Roche, Sophia Forum @SophiaForum
During the chat they will answer a series of questions:
- What research has there been on PrEP and women?
- What messages about PrEP should be directed to patients, their partners, and the broader community?
- How will adherence be promoted and monitored?
- How have sex workers and other vulnerable women been represented in clinical trials? Have their concerns been answered?
- How does the law affect women’s capacity to benefit from PrEP?
- What guidelines and training should prescribing doctors have?
How does the Twitter chat work?
Register or log on to Twitter for the online discussion at 13.00 GMT. Follow the conversation by searching #PrEPChat to see what the speakers and other participants are saying. Join in and post your own questions or comments. To make sure they can be seen by everyone taking part please include #PrEPChat in your message.
This Twitter chat is part of a process to enable speakers representing different positions on PrEP to raise questions about gender. It will also facilitate a wider conversation among those interested in HIV, sexual rights, and women’s health.
Join the debate or put questions to the panel on Twitter by including #PrEPChat in your message.