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South Australian government announce PrEP trial

Jay Weatherill
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill

The South Australian government have announced that their state will be trialling PrEP therapy for those at high risk of contracting HIV.

Eligible South Australians who are not living with HIV, but are considered to be high risk, may be prescribed  pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication Truvada – a daily oral medication to prevent the contraction of HIV.

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Earlier this year, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration listed Truvada for PrEP to reduce the risk of HIV in adults but the application to list the drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme was not approved in August.

Over the last five years, there have been an average of 58 HIV infections recorded in South Australia annually. Projections show that around 500 South Australian citizens may be eligible to take part in the PrEP trial.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says this is an important trial for preventing the proliferation of HIV.

“It will provide those South Australians living at risk of transmitting HIV with access to an additional effective prevention method,” Premier Weatherill said.

“The State Government is committed to providing the best possible health care for South Australians and our impending trial of this valuable medication is another example of this.”

Labor’s state member for Fisher, Nat Cook, says we have a long way to go in the fight to remove HIV transmission in Australia.

“A PrEP trial in South Australia is a step in the right direction,” Ms Cook said.

“We need to remove as many barriers as we can for those at risk of acquiring HIV – and prevention is always better than a cure.”

“South Australians deserve access to affordable PrEP and I urge the Federal Liberal Government to play its part in HIV prevention by adding it to the PBS.”

Western Australia now the only state without a trial

With the annoucement that South Australia will have a trial for PREP treatment, WA now stands alone as the only state not to trial the effectiveness of the preventative treatment.

Andrew Burry the Chief Executive of the WA AIDS Council has told OUTinPerth that a proposal for a WA based trial has been developed and is being considered by WA’s Health Minister John Day.

“We’re very pleased that South Australians have the news about joining the easty coast trials and providing access to PREP for their citensary. That does leave WA a bit out on its own now.” Burry said.

“We do have a proposal with the Minister and it’s currently being considered and there will be a decision soon.”

Update:  30th November 2016 – comment from Andrew Burry added.

OIP Staff

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