Community organisations (National Aids Trust, Yorkshire MESMAC, Terrence Higgins Trust, aidsmap, GMFA, LGBT Foundation, i-base, ReShape) working on HIV prevention have today renewed calls to make Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) available as soon as possible for those who need it most. Collectively calling on the public to sign the online statement, and tell decision makers that access to PrEP is a public health imperative.
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It involves a person who doesn’t have HIV taking a pill containing anti-HIV drugs to reduce their risk of HIV infection. Several studies show that PrEP works when taken as directed. PrEP is currently only available in the UK to people enrolled in the PROUD study. It has been available in the United States since 2012.
The PROUD study evaluated the impact of PrEP in a high-risk group of gay men in a way that reflected “real life” use of the drug as closely as possible: 545 men were randomly allocated to either take Truvada straight away or to defer treatment for a year.
Both groups then had regular three-monthly clinic visits, completed questionnaires on sexual behaviour, adherence to the medication, and were tested for sexually transmitted infections.
The study found no difference in reports of condom use between the two groups and no difference in rates of other STIs either –contradicting the claim that access to PrEP would somehow encourage an increase in risky sexual behaviour.
Terrence Higgins Trust Medical Director Dr Michael Brady said:
“The results of the PROUD study are truly remarkable and demonstrate how effective PrEP could be at reducing HIV transmissions amongst gay men. The Partners Demonstration Project in Kenya and Uganda this year, saw the use of PrEP reduce the risk of HIV infection by 96 per cent in 1000 heterosexual men and women.
“Therefore it is so important that all of us working in HIV now come together to ensure PrEP is made available for those most at risk. The longer we delay the more preventable HIV infections will occur.
“Terrence Higgins Trust will now continue to campaign until the government, NHS England, and local authorities agree to use PrEP to put HIV in the past. Our message is simple – ‘Stop HIV. PrEP now’.”
For more information about the PROUD trial, please see here:
For information about the PROUD study results, please see here:
For the ongoing and planned PrEP trials and demonstration projects across the globe (as of June 2015), please see here:
Sign and add your support to the ‘Statement on PrEP’ here: