On 24 October 2020, the Young Queer Alliance (YQA) in collaboration with the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS) organised a training session on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is a pill which, when taken as per the right prescription, prevents HIV infection.
PrEP has been introduced in Mauritius in 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) and prevents HIV negative persons who are at risk of HIV infection, inter alia, serodiscordant couples; Gay and Bisexual men and other Men having Sex with Men (GBMSM), trans people, sex workers and drug users, from being infected with HIV. PrEP does not prevent STIs.
PrEP can be taken on an intermittent basis for those having a planned sexual life or taken daily depending on the advice of the medical practitioner. For intermittent basis, two PrEP pills need to be taken 2 to 24 hours prior to at-risk activity, one pill every 24 hours during the at-risk activity, one pill after the at-risk activity and one pill 24 hours after the at-risk activity.
Research has shown that there is a 92-99% reduction in HIV risk for HIV positive individuals who take the pills according to prescription. However, if one dose is missed, the level of protection decreases to 60% effectiveness. For drug users, PrEP only has a 70% effectiveness.
Most people taking PrEP do not experience side effects. Minor, side effects can include nausea, dizziness, stomach problems, headaches or tiredness. The effects usually disappear within 2 weeks after PrEP initiation.
Want to enroll on PrEP?
For more information on PrEP, contact the YQA or call the the Ministry of Health and Wellness on (+230) 201-2175, or visit/call the hospitals listed below:
|Regional Hospital||Contact (+230)|
|Dr. A.G. Jeetoo Hospital, Port Louis||203 1001|
|SSRN Hospital, Pamplemousses||209 3500|
|Dr. B. Cheong Hospital, Flacq||402 2400|
|Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital, Rose Belle||603 7000|
|Victoria Hospital, Candos||425 7693|
|Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Rodrigues||831 1628|
PrEP in Mauritius (Key Information)
Some key points with regard to PrEP in Mauritius are as follows:
- parental consent is needed for minors interested to be enrolled on PrEP;
- PrEP is not recommended for individuals below 40 kg;
- the medical history of each patient and his/her medical examination is primordial before taking PrEP;
- patients on dialysis are advised not to take PrEP; and
- condom use is among the best prevention against HIV and other STIs.