In Lao PDR, a landlocked state in southeast Asia, the number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) was estimated at 13,000 in 2019, and the number of new HIV infections decreased from 980 in 2013 to 780 in 2019. However, the 2017 Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance (IBBS)4 conducted in the three provinces with the highest HIV burden revealed a substantial increase in HIV prevalence among MSM in Vientiane Capital (2.8% in 2014 to 7.0% in 2017), while in the other two provinces prevalence remained somewhat stable: 0.8% in 2014 versus 0.4% in 2017 in Champassak, and 1.0% in 2014 versus 1.4% in 2017 in Savannakhet.
Stigma index is high in Lao PDR and as a result of widespread stigma and discrimination, around three-quarters (75%) of men who have sex with men surveyed in Lao said they avoided healthcare.
1-Roll out of Prep at country level
As per a UN report dated October 2020, The national strategy and action plan for 2021-2030 draft has PrEP component as priority activities for HIV prevention concerning WHO’s recommendation on PrEP. Considering available evidences and documents, Lao had decided to implement PrEP pilot implementation with 250 MSM HIV negative participants in Vientiane Capital in the end of 2020. WHO Lao is supporting laboratory testing services for the participants in the PrEP pilot implementation according to the agreement of PrEP partner coordination meeting on May 2020.
PreP roll out plan in LAO PDR as mentioned in a meet hosted by UNAIDS, Unitaid and WHO in association with the Institute of HIV Research and Innovation (IHRI) in December 2020 was as follows:
Lao People’s Democratic Republic has conducted a series of orientation activities on PrEP for men who have sex with men, transgender people and stakeholders in three target provinces where the international development agency Family Health International 360 has implemented its HIV prevention programme with financial support from USAID. The 2017 National Guidelines on the use of antiretroviral includes the use of PrEP for HIV negative pregnant and breast- feeding women, based on WHO guidelines.
As a result of widespread stigma and discrimination, around three-quarters (75%) of men who have sex with men surveyed in Lao said they avoided healthcare.
As of July 2021 there were 6000 - 6500 estimated Number of Current PrEP Users in Lao PDR.
As per PW_GlobalTracker_June-2021, there have been 6,391 total number of cumulative PrEP Initiations and an implementation project is ongoing in LAO PDR
Were you or your network/organisation consulted on the rollout of PrEP?
Are you an implementing partner of the rollout of PrEP?
Any other comments or additional Information?
2-Availability, accessibility and costing
No available data.
Are you or your network/organisation working to scale up PrEP availability and access?
3-Any other Comment / Additional information?
4-Status of PrEP in national guidelines
As per a recent update on unaids.org, with respect to WHO recommendation on oral PrEP adopted in country's national guidelines, PrEP guidelines have not been developed in LAO PDR. Reasons for this are:
- No policy
- Not a funding priority
- Medicines unavailable
- Limited technical capacity
Note: This is in contradiction to the details mentioned above.
5-Comment / Additional information
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