The first European community center dedicated to PREP opens in Barcelona

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Great news for the LGBT community in Spain!  Barcelona has become the first European city with a community center specialized on PREP.
Although PREP hasn’t been approved in Spain yet, the organization BCN Checkpoint has worked really hard to make this a reality. Their main objective will be, working towards the popularization of PrEP while providing free advise and medical checks to those who have already decided to start taking the medication.
PREP Checkpoint in Barcelona
For those who do not know what PrEP is, it is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis and it is an HIV prevention tool. With PrEP, HIV negative people are the ones taking the initiative and protecting themselves by taking antiretroviral drugs that reduce their risk of infection. According to the research findings, it is almost 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission in people who use it consistently.
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The benefits of the medication would translate into a decrease of infection, which currently sits at 2 per day in Catalonia. Ferran Pujol, director of Barcelona Check Point,  stated that it is necessary to begin working with a tool that would prevent more HIV transmissions.

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Users of the PrEP treatment, explained by Ferran Pujol, have stated that taking the medication allows them to “normalize” not only intercourse but also human interactions with other people.” The director of BCN CheckPoint notes that after been “30 years” of living in the “shadow of suspicion,” PrEP is allowing this to finally change.

Oriol Pamies at PREP Checkpoint in Barcelona

With Ferran Pujol, Director of Barcelona Check Point and Michael Meulbroek

Despite PrEP being approved by the European Medicines Agency, it is not legal yet in Spain. Those who are already using it are importing it from countries where it is already legal (and helping control the HIV pandemic) such as UK, Portugal or France.
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We celebrate seeing that Barcelona is taking a step forward on this issue and we hope that the Spanish Ministry of Health will approve it very very soon! 🙂
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For more information here 🙂
 
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