UK ready to roll out PrEP trial


The United Kingdom will launch a PrEP trial that will allow 10,000 people to access game-changing HIV preventative medication.

Britain’s National Health Service had ruled out offering PrEP treatment to help stop the transmission of HIV, but subsequently lost a court battle over the decision.

The new £10 million trial with see 10,000 people being given access to medication that substantially reduces the chance of them acquiring the virus.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada can reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV by over 90 percent if taken daily. Regions which have made the treatment widely available have seen a dramatic drop in the number of new infections of HIV.

The decision has been welcomed by the Terrance Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading body in the fight against HIV. Ian, Green, Chief Executive of the organisation welcomed the news, highlighting the number of people diagnosed as HIV positive in the United Kingdom.

“With 17 new HIV diagnoses made every day, we need to be bold and ambitious in our approach to HIV prevention – and this must include access to PrEP for all who need it.

“Preventing the spread of HIV is good news for everyone.” Green said.

The three year trial will allow health officials to work out the best way to ensure take-up of the drug, examine the impact on HIV transmission levels, and access whether it increased rates of other sexually transmitted infections.

Last week South Australia announced it would roll a trial of the preventative treatment. Similar trials have already begin in most Australian States.

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

Back in August an application to have the drug added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme was knocked back.

At the time the federal Department of Health said that the price requested by manufacturer Gilead Sciences was too high for it to be considered for the scheme.

In turning down the submission the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) also noted that people at high risk of contracting HIV who may not follow safe sex recommendations, might also struggle to remember to take a pill each day.

OIP Staff



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