Our Impact

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis and is a term used to refer to antiretroviral drugs taken orally to prevent being infected by HIV. Oral PrEP has been available in South Africa since 2015 and clinical trials have proven it to be safe and effective in the prevention of HIV. Oral PrEP, and other HIV prevention products in development, will ensure that at-risk individuals do not have to rely on their partners to prevent HIV infections, thereby giving them the power and the tools to take personal control of their health outcomes. Despite these obvious advantages, uptake among key populations, specifically Men-who-have-Sex-with-Men, sex workers, adolescent girls and young women, remains low.

Since 2015, we have been lobbying policymakers to ensure that PrEP features prominently in South Africa's country-prevention strategy and that healthcare workers offer it freely and without judgement, while at the same time ensuring that vulnerable populations and communities are comfortable with the full arsenal of preventative measures currently available. Our mandate also includes advocating for innovative delivery strategies that go beyond traditional health facilities to reach people in their own communities.

Our aim is to help researchers and policymakers get close to the PrEP end-user to ensure that together we meet the goal of zero new infections by 2030. We believe that meaningful social mobilization among affected populations is key to driving awareness and creating social understanding of PrEP as an effective prevention intervention. Our passion is to make those most at risk feel visible, heard and empowered when it comes to protecting themselves against the triple burden of disease, poverty and stigma.


The South African Clinicians Society puts together the MSM PrEP Guidelines to assist those who might need to prescribe PrEP off label and offer it to those who might need it for prevention purposes. In South Africa, the drug is better known as Truvada but is also labelled as Tenofovir (TDF) and Emtricitabine (FTC).


USA Food and Drug Agency approves Tenofovir (TDF) and Emtricitabine (FTC) as a preventative drug for HIV

December 2015

The Medicine Control Council of South Africa approves Truvada to be prescribed for prevention purposes.

June 2016

the NDoH makes PrEP available to Sex Workers. Uptake is poor.


Unitaid, in collaboration with the South African NDoH and the WITS Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, launches a US$10,6 million (R143 million) project to provide a comprehensive HIV prevention package (which would include Truvada-based PrEP) to over 6000 girls in South Africa (ICASA 2017 conference).


The South African Department of Health and civil society members participate in a UNAIDS and UNFPA joint meeting in Geneva to lend support to the Global Coalition on HIV prevention. This meeting proposed using a combination prevention intervention, including both social-behavioural and biomedical interventions, with prioritization of key and vulnerable populations. Countries should be able to reduce new infections by 75% before 2020.

May 2020

Results of the HPTN 083 study on Cabotegravir (CAB) - better known as Injectable PrEP – show better efficacy than oral Truvada in HIV prevention for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), and transwomen. A decision on the review of HPTN 084, a similar study conducted among women, is expected at the end of 2020.