Latvia launches HIV prevention project

A unique HIV prevention pilot project, PrEP Riga, launched in Latvia, will provide free medicine and testing for STIs and hepatitis, LGBT and their friends' association “Mozaīka” said on August 24.

PrEP is a pre-contact or pre-exposure protection against HIV. It is a prescription drug which, when used correctly, reduces the possibility of infection with HIV by up to 99%. PrEP protects against HIV alone, it does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections.

Latvia was one of the few countries where access to PrEP was difficult and risk groups lacked information about the opportunities for PrEP. According to Dr Uldis Mitenbergs, World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Latvia, if medicines are used according to instructions, they are very effective.

The pilot project is supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

"It should be borne in mind that HIV can affect every one of us and infection within any group of society does not remain isolated within that group. Prevention of HIV is a whole public health issue,” said Kristīne Garina, chair of the board of LGBT and ally organization Mozaīka.


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