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.