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Grace Bura not her real name came to South Africa three months ago from her home town of Dar es Salaam to set up a new business: sex work. R of her earnings each day go to the brothel owner for rent. Fortunately for Grace, though, her move here has coincided with the launch of one of the most promising new HIV prevention tools. In May this year, the Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsaoledi, announced that ten sites across the country would start giving pre-exposure prophylaxis known as PrEP to sex workers.
It comes in the form of a once-a-day pill consisting of two drugs: tenofovir and emtricitabine. Its brand name is Truvada. The pill which works by blocking an enzyme called HIV reverse transcriptase. By blocking this enzyme, it prevents HIV from making more copies of itself in the body. If taken every day,Truvada is very effective against HIV infection. I agreed because I want to look after my health.
Thank god I was negative. Grace started on Truvada on June If Grace keeps on taking her pill everyday — and there is every indication she will — she will be able to protect both herself and her clients, as well as their partners. This is an important step towards defeating a virus that is the biggest cause of death in South Africa. GroundUp is being sued after we exposed dodgy Lottery deals involving millions of rands.
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