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SETAC Begins Training for New Rapid Screening Tests

August 30, 2017

The SETAC community center will offer the latest generation of HIV rapid screening tests and is set to begin a PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) program in Puerto Vallarta during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Paco Arjona, Director, and Fernando Martinez Munguia, HIV Coordinator at SETAC (Solidaridad Ed Thomas Sociedad Civil) traveled to Guadalajara August 17 to 18, where they received training to perform fourth-generation HIV, and hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and chlamydia rapid screening tests. These tests are part of the Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) program the renowned community center will begin during the fourth quarter, 2017.

"PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a preventive treatment for people that are not HIV carriers, but have contact with the virus for different reasons," explained Paco Arjona. "People whose partners live with HIV, sex workers, medical staff that has contact with HIV positive patients, or couples that choose not to use condoms as a preventive measure, can prevent HIV transmission by taking an antiretroviral medication on a daily basis." Several studies have confirmed that PrEP is almost 100% successful at preventing HIV transmission.

The training was offered by Comité Humanitario de Esfuerzo Compartido Contra el SIDA, A.C., an organization founded in 1988, when discrimination and HIV-AIDS were at their forefront, and next to no health-related services were available to the primarily homosexual population that needed medical attention.

With the training successfully completed, SETAC will now be able to offer a new series of rapid screening tests. "In order to be able to implement PrEP, our goal is to help people {stay} negative, as far as HIV is concerned, also {free} from other sexually-transmitted diseases. These must be detected as quickly as possible," Arjona added.

Presently, PrEP is an expensive treatment because the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) only allows acquiring the medication from a single pharmaceutical company, Gilead. However, the patent will expire in the near future, which will allow access to less expensive medications. PrEP aside, the most effective method for sexually active people to prevent HIV transmission is to use a condom.

SETAC will begin offering PrEP during the final quarter, 2017. The aforementioned rapid screening tests will be available at the end of October. For more information, please visit, where you will find information about all the programs available at the community center, or call (322) 224-1974.

The purpose of the SETAC Community Center, located at Calle Aldanaca 178 #4-A on the corner of Viena in the Colonia Versalles neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta, is to provide essential services to the community, including physical and mental health treatment, referrals, and education in an atmosphere of safety, free from discrimination. For more information, contact Paco Arjona at (322) 224-1974 or paco(at)

Click HERE to learn more about Centro Comunitario SETAC.