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Pharmacists can sell take-home HIV testing kits, says Pharmacy Council of South Africa Registrar and CEO Amos Masango.
According to Masango, a May 2015 decision by the council effectively quietly removed the ban on pharmacist sales of HIV self-testing kits. The decision comes almost one year after the council gazetted a draft plan to remove the ban. The proposed lifting of the ban was warmly received publicly, Masango told Health-e News.
The recent decision by the Medicines Control Council to approve the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in South Africa is a major development and has been welcomed by OUT LGBT Well-being.
PrEP is a new prevention option for HIV negative people who have high risk sex or simply wish to further protect themselves from HIV infection. It is also recommended for HIV negative people who are in a relationship with an HIV positive partner.
A new UK report has highlighted the impact of “chemsex”, in which gay and bisexual men have sex under the influence of sex-enhancing drugs.
The phenomenon has been growing in the gay community in recent years and often sees men have unprotected and risky sex with multiple partners while using drugs such as mephedrone or crystal meth.
In a major change in policy, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that people who test positive for HIV should start taking antiretroviral (ARV) medication immediately.
“Anyone infected with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible,” no matter their age or populations groups, WHO said on 30 September 2015.