QUEENSLAND’S first trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that started earlier this year will soon undergo a three-fold expansion thanks to extra funding provided by HIV Foundation Queensland (HIVFQ).

The trial, known as QPrEP and launched in March at sites around Brisbane and Cairns, is gathering Queensland-specific data on the effectiveness of and adherence to HIV prevention medication.

Similar state-specific trials are also under way in other parts of Australia.

In its commitment to improving knowledge about PrEP and providing the vital data required for hopeful future state and country-wide access to PrEP, HIVFQ has confirmed additional funding for the trial that will see the number of participants increase from 50 to 150.

HIVFQ chair Darren Russell said the QPrEP trial expansion will come as welcome news for advocates of the progression of PrEP in Australia.

“The interest on PrEP has really continued to gain momentum both worldwide and here in Queensland,” he said.

“Many of the sites participating in the trial are already reporting a waiting list of 20-25 participants and that is before recruiting has even commenced, so the Foundation’s commitment is well timed.”

The extra funding for participants is one of several research projects and workshops invested in by the HIVFQ, totalling over $480,000 for the year.

Queensland-led and specific research are areas HIVFQ’s Research Committee chair Professor Jeff Gow believes are vitally important to invest in to improve the state’s HIV strategy.

“In order to achieve the virtual elimination of HIV by 2020, evidence based action is required at all levels of our response,” he said.

“Having Queensland-led research will assist us greatly as we work towards this goal.”

Meanwhile, five Queensland university research projects were the recipients of HIVFQ funding, including a study into adherence to recreational drugs compared to HIV medication from Griffith University, and looking into the progression from HIV testing to treatment and what influences that trajectory.

For more information regarding the QPrEP trial and its expansion, HIVFQ research activities along with details and facts about PrEP, visit www.hivfoundation.org.au

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