Medication Programme

The Government of The Bahamas provides free medication to all HIV+ patients who need medication and who access healthcare through the Ministry of Health.

HIV Prevention  – PEP and PrEP

Antiretroviral (ARV) therapy

  • Helps people living with HIV
  • Plays a role in preventing transmission of the virus

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP):

  • Involves taking a short course of ARV drugs, usually for a month, after a high-risk exposure
  • PEP should be started immediately after possible exposure
    contact your health care provider/ hospital emergency room as soon as possible. If you suspect a high-risk exposure to HIV e.g.

    • Semen leaking out of a condom during intercourse with an HIV-positive partner
    • Vaginal or anal sex without a condom with a partner who is either HIV positive or whose status you do not know

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): 

  • An HIV prevention tool
  • HIV-negative person takes antiretroviral medication to reduce the risk of contracting HIV
  • The pill Truvada is currently the available, it is made of two drugs—tenofovir and emtricitabine
  • These medications build up in the human body
  • They can stop HIV from replicating and establishing an infection
  • PrEP approved in 2012 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • It be taken every day, even during periods of minimal or low-risk sexual activity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends Truvada for those at high risk of HIV, including:

  • Those in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner.
  • Persons who have unprotected sex with sex workers
  • Men who don’t use condoms when having sex with men.
  • Persons who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past six months and who are not in a mutually monogamous relationship with an HIV-negative partner.

PrEP only works if you take it.

  • Rates of side effects while on PrEP are low
  • Side effects include: mild symptoms e.g. stomach cramps, headaches and loss of appetite
  • Long-term use raises issues of kidney health and bone density

Do I still need to use condoms?
PrEP is supposed to be used along with safer-sex practices, such as condom use and regular HIV testing.

How can I access PrEP?
At over $1,500 a month, PrEP is not cheap.  Contact your healthcare provider.

Adapted from www.POZ.COM 

For More Information Please Contact:

Your Healthcare Provider or
National HIV/AIDS Centre
Ministry of Health
Royal Victoria Gardens
T: 242-323-5968

For More Information

Please contact your healthcare provider
National HIV/AIDS Centre
Ministry of Health
Royal Victoria Gardens
T: 242-323-5968