Starting July 12th, the drug Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), used to prevent the spread of HIV, will be available in Costa Rica. This pill is ingested daily and orally and will be delivered in some care centers of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), as well as in private medical centers.
The objective of this pilot plan is for the Fund to assess the possibility of acquiring the medicine permanently in the future. For the moment, it will be delivered at the Moreno Cañas Clinic and at the Central Clinic, in Carmen de San José. People who do not belong to these health centers, should contact the CCSS, so that the appointment can be scheduled and evaluate if the medication will be referred to them.
Who can have access to the drug under the pilot plan?
The CCSS followed the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), so that the people who will have access to the drug are mainly men who have sex with other men, trans women and serodiscordant men (when a member of the couple is not HIV positive).
The drug has an effectiveness of at least 95%, if it is used with a condom. The possibility of being infected by syringes or needles also decreases by 70%. This initiative has been in preparation since 2020, with medical advice from WHO and financial support from the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Costa Rican Demographic Association (ADC) and the Esperanza Viva Association (ASEV) will be partners to work with the key population on information actions on the use of this drug.
Additionally, in order to sensitize the population that has sexual practices that are considered high risk, the National Council for Comprehensive HIV Care (CONASIDA) and the Country Coordinating Mechanism of Costa Rica (MCP-CR), promote the communication campaign: PrEP + Condom you play it safe!