MI-EPIC (stands for Medicare Ineligible – Expanded PrEP Implementation in Communities) is a follow-on study of the EPIC-NSW Study (a NSW PrEP trial), which ceased new enrolments on 30 April 2018.
The study will provide participants with up to 12 months of free daily PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) a prevention medication for HIV negative people who are at risk of infection, to reduce their chance of getting HIV. It involves taking medication on a daily basis.
MI-EPIC aims to assist overseas-born individuals who are Medicare-ineligible and are wanting to maximise their HIV prevention options by commencing PrEP.
The study is open to people who meet the eligibility criteria and are available to attend regular check-ups.
How can I join MI-EPIC?
To join the MI-EPIC study you will need to contact one of the seven participating study across NSW. Following this you will undergo an assessment with a doctor where you’ll be asked some questions regarding your sexual history to determine your eligibility.
The list of participating sites and their contact details are:
- Name: Lismore Sexual Health Service
Address: 4 Shepherd Lane, Lismore, 2480
Contact: 02 6620 2980
- Name: Clinic 16
Address: Royal North Shore Community Health Centre,
Level 5, 2C Herbert Street, St Leonards, 2065
Contact: (02) 9462 9500
- Name: Liverpool Sexual Health Clinic
Address: 13 Elizabeth Street, Liverpool, 2170
Contact: (02) 9827 8022
- Name: Pacific Clinic
Address: Level 2, 670 Hunter Street, Newcastle West, 2300
Contact: (02) 4016 4536
- Name: St Vincent’s Hospital (IBAC Clinic)
Address: 390 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, 2010
Contact: (02) 8382 3707
- Name: Illawarra Shoalhaven Sexual Health
Address: Port Kembla Hospital, Fairfax Road, Port Kembla, 2505
Contact: (02) 4276 2399
- Name: Coffs Harbour Sexual Health Clinic
Address: 345 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour, 2450
Contact: (02) 6656 7000
How ELSE can I access PrEP?
Australian Healthcare System
If you are an Australian resident with a current Medicare card you can access PrEP through the PBS at a subsidised cost. This means any doctor or general practitioner can write a script for PrEP which you can take to any pharmacy for dispensing (collection).
The cost will depend on your personal circumstances. A script for one month’s supply of PrEP will cost $40.30 or $6.50 if you have a concession card.
If you are not able to access PrEP through Medicare and are ineligible to join MI-EPIC, another option is to purchase a generic version of the drug from a reliable overseas supplier. You still require a script from a doctor before ordering online. There are multiple suppliers who export PrEP into Australia at a range of costs. Visit the ‘PrEP Access Now’ website for more information.
How can I find out more?
To find out more information about the study, go to epic-nswstudy.org.au. There you will also find the contact details of participating clinics in Sydney and across NSW, and instructions on how to make an appointment with a doctor.