Varsities get HIV safe pill

27 September 2017 - 07:25 By Katharine Child
Truvada. File photo
Truvada. File photo
Image: Epa/Maurizio Gambarini via The Conversation

University and college students will for the first time be able to access HIV prevention medication called Truvada.

This was announced by the Department of Higher Education and Training as part of its HIV and Aids programme yesterday.

Truvada is an antiretroviral pill that reduces the risk of contracting HIV by at least 90% if taken daily.

HIV-negative students at seven universities will be able to access the medication from specified campus health clinics.

The universities are Nelson Mandela, Rhodes, Limpopo, Free State, Venda, Zululand and Vaal Technology.

The Health Department will use data from the university trials to assess the demand for a preventive treatment and whether people will use it.

Truvada has been introduced in South Africa in pilot projects for gay and bisexual men, and to some HIV-negative sex workers, but has not been made available to young people before.

Women between 15 and 25 are the most at risk of contracting HIV in South Africa.

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