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 WORLD AIDs DAY – 890/2022

By December 1, 2022 No Comments

The GHA is supporting global World AIDs Day on 1st December with a range of activities to help promote prevention, raise awareness, increase testing and reduce the stigma for those living with HIV.

The most effective way to prevent HIV infection is to use a barrier form of contraception such as a condom. Treatment of HIV infection has improved greatly over the years and people can now live in good health for many years without progressing to develop AIDs. If an HIV positive person has an undetectable level of the virus in their blood they cannot pass on the infection. This is the main message from the global U=U campaign, this being that Undetectable virus in the blood equals Untransmittable infection.

The GHA are pleased to announce today the launch of a pre-exposure prophylaxis medicine (PrEP) program to coincide with World Aids Day. PrEP is a medication that has been developed to help to protect you, before you have sex, if you are HIV negative and are being potentially exposed to HIV. PrEP can be accessed through our well person clinic and is specifically targeting those who are at higher risk of getting HIV. The GHA have developed eligibility criteria and a full clinical assessment will be undertaken to determine level of risk, current HIV status and counselling of risk before the medication is prescribed. This service can be accessed by calling 20007842 from 11-2pm to access an advanced appointment for the service, additionally if you require further information regarding this service please email prep@gha.gi.

Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, said: ‘I am pleased that we are now able to offer PrEP medication. This is another way, for those who are at higher risk of infection, to protect themselves. There is a significant research base that PrEP is safe and works for people in high risk groups. I am delighted that we are now able to offer PrEP here in Gibraltar and would like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping to develop the pathway and service. ’

GHA Director General, Professor Patrick Geoghegan, said: ‘Today on World AIDs day this is our opportunity to show our support for those who are living with HIV infection and to increase the range of services that we offer to prevent new infections.  He encourages people when appropriate to come forward and take us up on our offer.  As I want to keep the people of Gibraltar healthy and safe.’