PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a method that people at risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV infection. However, PrEP does not prevent other infections like HPV, Syphilis, Chlamydia or Herpes.
In 2020, 130 countries including South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, UK, USA, Vietnam, Thailand, etc., reported that they had adopted the WHO recommendations on oral PrEP in national guidelines, with a further 23 countries reporting that they plan to adopt the recommendations in the next two years.
PrEP in Hong Kong can be obtained from private clinics or hospitals. If you are interested in getting PrEP in Hong Kong, make sure you have read the instructions and done the corresponding tests needed.
It is important to understand how to take PrEP properly and have the correct medical checks.
People going onto PrEP need to have HIV testing, STI check-up, liver and kidney function testing, and doctor consultation.
MY PLACE by AIDS Concern offers the first community-based and gender-inclusive PrEP check-up service in Hong Kong at a reasonable price.
To know more about PrEP checkup services, please refer to this link : https://aidsconcern.org.hk/en/my-prep-hk/
It cost around 8,000HKD – 10,000HKD monthly to access PrEP in Hong Kong private clinic and it is not affordable for most people. Should the government take part of the cost of PrEP so that people can get the protection?
In other countries such as Thailand, Australia and the United Kingdom, the Government has started to introduce PrEP, with relevant medical examinations as well as the supply of PrEP.
Some countries manage the cost the PrEP by the support of a medical insurance system. The result of this action protects those in need and some countries now see new HIV infections have slowed down or even declined.
As an international city, Hong Kong has potential to reverse the local HIV epidemic if we follow the good example of other places. AIDS Concern is urging the Hong Kong Government to take action.
Some people say PrEP is only for people with high-risk sexual behaviors, such as many sexual partners, sex workers, and drug users induced labelling effect. If I want to use PrEP, how can I deal with those comments?
Various of HIV prevention measures can be adopted subject to the needs of different community, including but not limited to proper and consistent use of condoms, regular HIV testing, Post- Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and the number of viruses in infected individuals is undetectable (Undetectable Viral) Load) status and Negotiated Safety, etc.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is only one of the comprehensive forms of prevention. Anyone can choose their combinations in order to meet their needs and wishes, to achieve comprehensive and effective HIV prevention.
AIDS Concern understands the risk situation of service users’ sexual health, and provides counseling services in person centered approach, to facilitate the changes of risk reduction with the step and wish of service users.
In addition, AIDS Concern has continued to advocate the public health care system more widely adopt the implementation of PrEP and eliminate the unnecessary labeling of PrEP through public education.
Although PrEP is still not widely discussed in Hong Kong, there is some criticism that PrEP will promote high risk behavior. Meanwhile, if we do not promote good information on PrEP, many people may wrongly use PrEP for protection, resulting in greater infection. How should the promotion strategy be planned?
AIDS Concern believes that in order to eliminate potential medication compliance issues, one-on-one counseling services should be provided to PrEP users.
For PrEP promotion it is important that PrEP users understand the importance of necessary check ups and potential side effects.
The community has the freedom to choose their own prevention method but they should know that PrEP can only prevent HIV, while other sexually transmitted diseases cannot be prevented by PrEP.
If I want to use PrEP, how should I balance with the cost and benefit between effectiveness, compliance and side effects of PrEP?
According to international research study results, there is a positive correlation between drug protection and drug adherence. This means that people need to take the drug as often as recommended if they are really to be protected from HIV. Recent studies called PROUD (UK) and IPERGAY (France) show that the protective effective of PrEP is as high as 99% against HIV when PrEP is taken correctly.
According to the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PrEP should be integrated into a comprehensive HIV/AIDS service program that includes regular clinical examinations, medication adherence monitoring, and HIV testing.
I am still have questions to ask, what should I do?