A number of the UK’s leading Sexual Health and HIV charities have this week issued a joint statement on the use of Pre Exposure Prophylaxis(PrEP) to help reduce HIV infection rates.
The charities involved (GMFA, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, NAM, NAT (National AIDS Trust), Terrence Higgins Trust, and Yorkshire MESMAC) worked together to produce the following joint statement:
“PrEP is a promising new HIV prevention strategy that is currently being trialled in the UK. It involves people who do not have HIV taking a daily dose of one or two of the drugs that are used to treat HIV. Studies suggest that this can prevent infection if the user is exposed to HIV.
Faced with continuing high rates of HIV transmission amongst gay men in the UK, the charities believe we need to see additional effective prevention options introduced, such as PrEP, so that more gay men are able to reduce their HIV risk.
Currently, Public Health England and the MRC Clinical Trials Unit are running a UK trial of PrEP, called the PROUD study, for gay and bisexual men who are at a high risk of infection.
The group has created the statement in a bid to raise awareness around PrEP and provide gay and bisexual men with clear, accurate information. It covers why researchers are conducting a trial of PrEP in the UK, how effective it is, and under what circumstances PrEP could be used to reduce new infections.”
The study into just how effective PrEP is at reducing the risk of HIV infection continues, but early data has proved promising. It is also worth noting that PrEP would need to be taken at a set time every day just like medication taken by people with HIV – adherence is the key to efficacy in both cases.
You can find out more about PrEP and the PROUD study at http://www.proud.mrc.ac.uk