PrEP is a medical HIV prevention method where people who are HIV negative take medication to reduce their risk of contracting HIV.1 The medication most commonly used in PrEP and PrEP trials around the world is Truvada®, a pill that contains a combination of two antiretroviral medicines: tenofovir and emtricitabine. Truvada® is also one of a number of medications used to suppress the virus in people living with HIV.
Several clinical trials such as the Proud study, have shown PrEP to be extremely effective in preventing HIV infection.2 Along with other prevention methods like condoms, PrEP can offer protection against HIV if taken as prescribed.
PrEP is not available in Australia at a subsidised price through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), but can currently be obtained with:
Currently PrEP is not part of the PBS, while SAMESH will continue to focus on raising awareness of existing HIV-prevention strategies, like condoms, PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis), and undetectable viral load, moving forward SAMESH will be responsive to the national and community dialogue surrounding the need for PrEP.
1 M Grant, et al, Uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis, sexual practices, and HIV incidence in men and transgender women who have sex with men: a cohort study, Lancet Infectious Diseases 2014, Vol 14:820-29
2 C Hankins, et al, Translating PrEP effectiveness into public health impact: key considerations for decision-makers on cost-effectiveness, price, regulatory issues, distributive justice and advocacy access, Journal of the International AIDS Society 2015, Vol 18 (Supp 3):19973, pg. 3.
PrEPX-SA Community Forum
April 2017 SAMESH held a community forum with the lead investigators of the South Australian PrEP forum,
Panelists: Australian Leatherman Gary Ebert, Dr Charlotte Bell, Prof Steve Wesslingh, Prof Edwina Wright
In 2015 SAMESH and the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) brought leading HIV clinicians and experts on HIV PrEP, from South Australia & Victoria together for a community discussion on PrEP and HIV prevention in the south Australian landscape.
Associate Professor Edwina Wright
Alfred Hospital, Burnet Institute
& Chief Investigator for VicPrEP
Associate Professor Levinia Crooks
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Charlotte Bell
Sexual Health Physician
Clinic 275, North Terrace, Adelaide
Team Leader, SAMESH, Adelaide
Attendees to the community forum were surveyed before and after the forum in order to gauge community knowledge and opinion, the results of which are available here.