As part of the newly unveiled South African National Sex Worker HIV Plan, all sex workers will be started on HIV treatment as soon as they are diagnosed.
Currently, most people living with HIV must wait until their CD4 counts – a measure of the immune system’s strength – fall to 500 before they can start treatment.
At least 3 000 HIV-negative sex workers will be given the ARV Truvada, which combines the ARVs emtricitabine and tenofovir, as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to help prevent them from contracting HIV.
PrEP is available to everyone, however, and a monthly course ranges from about R200 to R550.
Read more about PrEP.