MYDAWA Launches Telehealth Platform For HIV Prevention
Kenya’s e-pharmacy platform MYDAWA has launched the first Kenyan telehealth solution tailored to HIV prevention. Supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in partnership with the University of Washington, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Centre, Jhpiego and Audere, MYDAWA has developed the first end-to-end virtual healthcare solution for customers who wish to access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) online.
PrEP is a medicine that can be proactively taken daily by people who are at ongoing risk of acquiring HIV. PEP is a medicine that can be taken by people immediately after possibly being exposed to HIV to reduce the risk of getting HIV.
Approximately 38 million people around the world are living with HIV with close to 21 million of them in Eastern and Southern Africa. The stigma associated with HIV and the need to visit an HIV clinic for PrEP has been a key challenge in the uptake of PrEP. This is particularly apparent among populations who are vulnerable to stigma such as men who have sex with men and female sex workers. This challenging environment in tackling HIV facilitated the search for a different approach to PrEP initiation through online channels that are more discrete.
The grant of US$1.2m awarded to MYDAWA by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the first end-to-end virtual PrEP/PEP service aims to generate evidence on virtual PrEP and PEP service delivery. The service has received research approval from the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the University of Washington. This grant is an endorsement of MYDAWA’s ability and the crucial role the company is playing at the forefront of providing access to simple and affordable self-tests for HIV and pregnancy, alongside an extensive range of sexual and reproductive health products.