AGYW urged to use PrEP in fight against spread of HIV

Young girls have been urged to consistently and correctly use and adhere to their Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP} drugs in order to avert new HIV infections.

Speaking during her 37th birthday celebrations at Huruma, Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme {BHESP} paralegal Mary Mugure said young girls are lucky to have PrEP which is very important in HIV prevention.

PrEP is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.

Mugure noted that PrEP, which can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%, is exceedingly effective for averting HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently.

“I began sex work in 2003, at this young age I had no knowledge of how to practice safe sex. All that mattered to me was how to make my next coin and give my children a better life. We didn’t have such effective prevention strategies like PrEP,” she reckoned.

Mugure urged young girls to take advantage of the new HIV prevention strategy by visiting BHESP wellness centers located in Roysambu, Jogoo Road, and Kariobangi to learn more about PrEP.

“Knowledge on PrEP continues to remain scarce among the young people today, it is, therefore, important for every young person out there to be aggressive in acquiring knowledge on PrEP as it is for their own good,” she noted.

Speaking at the party, Beryl Abade,22, who has been using PrEP for the last one year said PrEP and other prevention methods have greatly lowered her risk of getting HIV.

“I am currently a PrEP champion at BHESP and my responsibility entails creating awareness and demand about PrEP to my peers,” she said.

While echoing Abade’s sentiments Vivian Achieng’, 25, said; “PrEP is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am able to carry out my sex work without any scare of getting infected with HIV and able to provide for my son’s needs.”

BHESP is currently working with DREAMS Innovation Challenge to engage the public and create a dialogue around the benefits of PrEP using interactive websites, peer educators, and support groups to incorporate PrEP into conversations and create consumer-driven demand for the medication.

So far BHESP has managed to newly enroll 4517 clients on PrEP.

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