08 February 2022
Jersey's Sexual Health team is now able to provide PrEP (Pre-Exposure prophylaxis) for free to Islanders at risk of HIV.
PrEP is taken in the form of a pill and protects people from HIV. It can be used by people who are HIV negative but at high risk of contracting the virus.
You are considered eligible for PrEP if you:
- Are a man or transgender women who has sex with men
- Are an HIV negative partner of an HIV positive person when the positive partner is not known to be virally suppressed.
- Are at high risk of HIV acquisition-Including those of ethnic backgrounds.
HIV is mostly transmitted through unprotected sex and the sharing of needles. People can be infected if they come into direct contact with infected bodily fluids such as:
- Vaginal fluids
- Rectal fluids
- Breast Milk
Sexual Health Nurse, Shellie Hullah, said:" We are extremely pleased that we are able to offer this treatment free of charge to Islanders and this is a huge step forward in our fight against HIV and is in line with other health services in the world, including the NHS.
"HIV carries a stigma and people are often discriminated against which continues to be a barrier for people accessing care and treatment. It is vital that we work together to eliminate all forms of HIV related stigma and help those in need."
PrEP is only suitable for HIV negative people and is used to reduce the risk from possible exposure. Those that have had relevant exposure in the absence of PrEP can access Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) which is a different regime. Other preventative measures remain extremely important. Wearing of condoms which are supplied free of charge through the Blood Borne Viruses and Sexual Health Departments reduces the risk of transmission of other infections. Those who are infected with HIV will require treatment on a life-long basis.
Islanders who are wanting more information on PrEP can contact the Sexual Health Team on 442856 or S.H@gov.je.