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Kenya Gets First HIV/Aids Vaccine - PrEP

The Ministry of Health in conjunction with the National AIDS & STI Control Program (NASCOP) has launched a new program that seeks to provide medication to thousands of Kenyans at the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

The vaccine, known as Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will be administered to HIV-negative individuals as an oral anti-HIV drug on a daily basis. The vaccine is taken daily without fail and it is believed that it takes up to 20 days to become fully effective.

PrEP is recommended to HIV-negative individuals who are at substantial risk of infection.

People in an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner, men having sex with other men and those with no capacity to constantly use condoms are advised to use PrEP.

According to medics, the vaccine pill only effective to HIV-negative persons and is highly advised to be used alongside other preventive measures like use of condoms.

Vomiting, rash, headache, nausea and loss of appetite are some of the side effects associated with the use of PrEP.  However, the effects disappear after a few weeks of using the pill.

Individuals using this vaccine lower the risk of contracting HIV/aids virus by up to 90%.

However, PrEP, does not protect users from contracting other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as it is specifically custom made for HIV/AIDS prevention.

The ministry of health will avail PrEP in all public health centers across the country.

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