Talking with Community Based Organizations

Is PrEP safe and effective?

PrEP works when taken.  Safety was comparable among participants using PrEP or placebo in clinical studies.  The safety of PrEP has been compared favorably to the safety of aspirin in a paper by Jeffrey Klausner in Open Forum in Infectious Diseases. 

Under what circumstances should CBOs advocate for PrEP?

PrEP is an opportunity to engage people in clinic services and comprehensive prevention.

Can CBOs provide PrEP services?

Many can.  CBOs typically have credibility with people at substantial risk.  Capacity for HIV testing is important.  Straightforward guidelines for PrEP services are available and part-time effort from a pharmacist, nurse or a  physician is enough in many places.  The WHO clinical protocol can be readily adapted for use by many CBOs.

Will CBOs help define substantial risk?

Some guidance is available on how to help people decide whether PrEP is right for them, although more is needed; More information is needed about PrEP rollout among adolescent boys and girls, transgender populations, sex workers, people who inject drugs, and incarcerated populations.

Will PrEP interfere with structural change.

PrEP could mobilize for structural change if the focus is on facilitating social protection and comprehensive care, rather than “getting pills into bodies” (Hoppe).  PrEP users report feeling empowered by having greater control over their risk of HIV (Grant).