SAYWHAT Steps Up PrEP Availability And Accessibility For College Students

SAYWHAT,an organisation advocating for University Students’ Sexual Reproductive Health Rights(SRHR) in Zimbabwe wants Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) at college clinics as a preventive measure.

By Kuda Pembere

Speaking at a workshop addressing how students in universities are having challenges in accessing PrEP,a SayWhat and AVAC Fellow Cleopatra  Makura said in her findings, she noticed that most clinics do not have this product.

Her research found a big gap among university students females in particular since they are the most vulnerable.

“Basically it’s for us to have awareness. The first thing for us is to know what is PrEP. Also the other objective is that because we have a student prep champion in the house we will also have a chance to hear her issues, Im running a project called STEP project.

“It basically means stepping up prevention methods. Students already have prevention but are not taking it seriously. The project has three objectives namely the inclusion of prep in tertiary institutions and the second one is to strengthen the capacity of students in articulating their need for PrEP and the third one is to ensure students are informed on on-going clinical research in HIV prevention methods,”  she said.

She also learnt that even caregivers in college clinics need knowledge on PrEP.

The Student PrEP  champion Mongiwe Dube said it was about time University Students particularly females be classified as High Risk to be afforded the chance to get PrEP.

Dr Murungu Technical focal person with Pangea Aids Trust Zimbabwe said there was need to know that everyone is at risk of contracting HIV but it was important to realise the cost effectiveness of giving those at high risk including Sero-discordant partners, Men who have sex with men, male sex workers, female sex workers, truck drivers as well as prison inmates.

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