The world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. WHO and UNAIDS have recognized that achieving this target will not be possible without reinvigorating HIV prevention strategies to hasten the decline in adult infections. Towards this, PrEP has been endorsed as a HIV prevention strategy in conjunction with other prevention strategies by the WHO and UNAIDS. PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is an HIV prevention strategy that uses antiretroviral drugs to protect high risk HIV-negative people from HIV infection. It has been rolled out in some countries for key populations, including MSM and has showed impressive results.
In 2015, the Ministry of Health reported that there were 455 new cases of HIV among Singapore residents of which 59% were from the MSM community. This kind of news always brings the community to their feet, triggering debates on new strategies to control rising infection rates. As a response, on November 12th 2016, Action for AIDS convened 80 community members and healthcare providers for a one day workshop on PrEP. Participants discussed community awareness levels on PrEP’s effectiveness as a prevention strategy, acceptance of PrEP by the community and how PrEP can be positioned with other prevention strategies as well as the challenges, opportunities and key issues to be addressed when making PrEP available through health care providers.
The workshop was co-facilitated by APCOM along with AfA and included presentations from AfA, DSC, NUH and TTSH among others.
Action for AIDS and the Gayhealth team are very thankful for the fruitful community engagement on this important issue and will present the full report on the PrEP Community Dialogue at the 10th Singapore AIDS Conference on December 3rd 2016.
A very big thank you to the following agencies and organizations that helped to promote the event: National Skin Centre, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National University Hospital, DSC, Oogachaga, The Purple Alliance, G-Spot, YOH, SG Rainbow, T-Project, The Bear Project, HIVE, Club Genesis and Revive.
A special note of thanks to Daniel Le (AFA), Dr. Christina Wong(FHI 360) and Dr. Tan Wei Sheng (DSC) for designing and delivering the workshop with APCOM.
Read the Full Report on the Singapore PrEP Consultation with Community and Health Service Providers