What is PrEP?
PrEP is the use of antiretroviral drugs, taken by HIV negative people to prevent HIV infection. Currently TDF/FTC (Truvada) is the only drug that has been proven to work, but others are on the horizon.
Studies from around the world have shown us Truvada works. In all of the studies into PrEP, one thing is clear, and that is if taken daily it works. While the studies have shown different rates of efficacy with different confidence intervals, PrEP has been proven to be extremely effective in preventing HIV transmission. This is why we need urgent access to this proven technology.
The work we have done on PrEP has been extensive and a major priority for us – and will continue to be so.
If you want to know what we have done contact ACON on 9206 2000 or email@example.com
Latest Update: EPIC NSW Study
EPIC NSW is a study run by the Kirby Institute, in collaboration with a number of partners, which aims to assess the impact of the rapid expansion in access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) amongst those at high risk of acquiring HIV.
The trial will enrol 3,700 people at high risk of acquiring HIV – the vast majority of whom will be gay and bisexual men. Find out more about EPIC NSW here.
Is Truvada Available in Australia?
As of May 2016, Truvada is licensed for PrEP in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). While this is a key development for PrEP access in Australia, PrEP is not yet available at a subsidised price through Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). An application is underway for a PBS listing. In the meantime, accessing PrEP through criteria based enrolment in the EPIC-NSW study or personal importation remain the most affordable ways to get PrEP.
Click on this link to find out more: PrEP – Access Options
What are the options for obtaining PrEP?
If you are considering PrEP, you should discuss this with a doctor with experience in HIV or sexual health to help decide if PrEP is right for you.
For more information, please download this resource which explains your options for obtaining PrEP through the Australian health system, and how to go about obtaining generic Truvada via the internet if you and your doctor decide that is your best access option: PrEP – Access Options.
There are a number of reasons it is important to work with your doctor if you are considering taking PrEP. It is essential that you have an HIV test before beginning PrEP and if you decide to take it, you need to continue to test for HIV and other sexually transmissible infections on an ongoing basis – at least every three months. Your doctor can also give you advise about any other monitoring that may be required.
For more information on importing medicines for personal see the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website.
Living Positive Victoria has produced a resource to assist people with HIV to talk to their friends and partners about PrEP which is on their website.
In NSW you can now contact the PrEP Info Service, which provides further information for community members and health care professionals about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Call the service on 1800 451 624, open Monday to Friday 9am till 5:30pm.
For more information on Truvada for PrEP, talk to your local HIV organisation, your doctor or sexual health clinic. In NSW, the community based organisations who can assist with information about PrEP, eligibility and steps to access PrEP are:
ACON’S POSITION ON PREP
ACON believes that gay men should have access to the full range of proven prevention technologies in order to reduce HIV transmission and meet the goals contained in the NSW HIV Strategy.
We believe that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an important addition to the HIV prevention field. We accept there are a number of unanswered questions about how best to implement PrEP and that the success of PrEP as part of a combination approach depends crucially on its acceptability to those who use it. As such we believe that it is critical to determine how to obtain the greatest benefit from PrEP and to address structural barriers to access and availability.
Read ACON’s Position Statement on PrEP for more information: ACON PrEP Position Statement.
Daily dosing is currently recommended for PrEP use although some studies are investigating whether intermittent or event-based dosing is effective. On the current evidence we urge caution from anyone considering less than daily dosing – you should always follow your doctor’s advice when taking medication. The US CDC has released a statement addressing this issue.
THE PRELUDE STUDY
This study is designed to look into how clinics can provide PrEP in NSW.
It will study whether people in NSW find it easy and agreeable to take PrEP every day, why they take it, what it’s like to take it, and whether it changes how they have sex. It will study how easy it is for doctors to use it with their patients, and what resources are necessary to make PrEP available in NSW.
Find out more on the Prelude Study website.