SOUTH Australia is beginning a new trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV.

Victoria’s Alfred Health and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) have partnered with SA Health and local clinics to deliver the trial, which starts in April.

Professor Steve Wesselingh from SAHMRI says PrEP is an important tool for HIV prevention for South Australians at risk.

“Over the last five years, there has been close to 60 new infections in South Australia each year,” he said.

“PrEP is an antiviral medication taken daily by people at the highest risk of HIV to prevent them from acquiring HIV. PrEP has been shown internationally and nationally to reduce the number of new cases and we hope the same success will occur herein South Australia.”

Associate Professor Edwina Wright from Alfred Health said the program is drawn from a successful Victorian trial that launched in July.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with South Australia to build a PrEP response that specifically meets the needs of South Australians by working closely with clinicians, local sexual health clinics and the community,” Wright said.

People at risk of HIV have access to PrEP via similar programs in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. A trial is also coming for the ACT.

Tasmania, WA and the NT have not yet announced trials for PrEP.

South Australians interested in taking part in the trial can register online.

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