Sonagachhi survey a hope in fight against AIDS

  • | Monday | 25th March, 2019

About 678 sex workers were given PrEPs daily for a period of 16 months and during the course of the demonstration project, not a single case of sero-conversion (the period of time during which HIV antibodies develop and become detectable) was detected among the participants who received PrEP.“The objective of this strategy is to strengthen the HIV intervention programme and is not intended to replace the existing HIV prevention strategies. KOLKATA: A study conducted among female sex workers at Sonagachhi by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) has shown positive results in terms of achieving the global target of zero AIDS-related deaths by 2030.National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) has already decided to integrate the daily use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a relatively new HIV prevention strategy that involves use of antiretroviral medications (ARVs), based on DMSC survey.It will help assess the impact and feasibility of the daily use of oral PrEPs.The project started in 2016 was supported by World Health Organization’s Geneva office. It is rather meant to be used in combination with other preventive measures so that it can help the sex workers, who are unable or unwilling to correctly and consistently use condoms,” said chief adviser of DMSC Smarajit Jana.They were selected after preliminary blood tests revealed they were not HIV- positive.The entire process was carried out through peer educators with an objective to find out sex workers’ interest and level of acceptance of oral PrEP.Other important factors, like pregnancy, Hepatitis B , high level of bilirubin were kept in mind while screening the sex workers for this study.“PrEP will empower us and provide a sense of freedom and confidence,” said a sex worker at Sonagachhi.

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