NZ's Own PrEP Community Group Launches
This article was published in 2017.
A Facebook community for PrEP users, or those who might be interested in PrEP, has launched in New Zealand.
Andrew Mackenzie, the lead group moderator, says the page was created "to provide informed answers to queries that people have and to provide a safe and supporting network of people who can give personal insights into issues that may arise from being on PrEP."
The group, PrEPing NZ, is run by community members and follows the lead of Australian online groups PrEP'd For Change and PrEPaccessNOW.
Andrew says a New Zealand-specific page is needed because "the current PrEP trial only allows for 150 higher-risk or diverse participants - but there are also a lot of people on PrEP, or wanting it, who don't qualify for the study. This page will provide advice and support for those who want to access it through other means."
Generic versions of PrEP can be legally imported to New Zealand, as long as the user has a prescription from their doctor. To find a doctor with good knowledge of sexual health and HIV, including PrEP, check out the map we've created.
The Facebook group is not just for current PrEP users, but for anybody who wants to find out more about PrEP and its role in preventing the onward transmission of HIV.
Andrew encourages anyone with an interest in PrEP to join the page. "If you have questions, we can help answer them," he says. "If you're already on PrEP, you can be part of a support network and help others who are interested."