South Africa: Access to HIV Prophylaxis At Pharmacies Not As Easy It Seems


A survey by Maverick Citizen has found that more than half of pharmacies listed as places to access critical drugs after possible exposure to HIV are unable to help, with some even failing to respond to emails and phone calls.

First published by Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper

Maverick Citizen, using a pseudonym, emailed and phoned 31 pharmacies across the country, asking them whether they were able to assist with access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) counselling and antiretroviral medication.

These pharmacies were selected because they are listed on the #4EachOther website, or websites promoted by various organisations, including the HIV Clinicians Experts website, as pharmacies that participate in the PEP and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programme for HIV prevention. Fifty-eight percent of these pharmacies did not respond to our email query. While 61% answered the phone, only 32% said they were able to assist.

#4EachOther is spearheaded by Expanding Access to PrEP and ARVs Innovation Consortium (EPIC). EPIC is led and managed by the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society (SAHCS), in partnership with consortium members the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA), Ezintsha, Digital Health Cape Town and Vula Mobile.

The aim of #4EachOther and EPIC is to “bring HIV information, services,…



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