PrEP trial launched in Victoria

PrEP trial launched in Victoria

VICTORIA’S pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trial was launched this week with over 1,300 same-sex attracted men already signed up to access the HIV prevention pill.

The 20-month long PrEPX study has the capacity to provide monthly scripts to 2,600 people in Victoria, after the state government announced $1.4 million in funding earlier this year.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy launched the trial on Monday, while calling on the federal government to review the recent ruling against listing the PrEP medication Truvada on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which would have made the drug cheap and accessible.

HIV advocates and health organisations were outraged earlier this month when the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee rejected submissions to have it listed on the PBS.

“We know PrEP is invaluable when it comes to stopping the spread of HIV – it has the power to prevent infections and save lives,” Hennessy said.

“A decision not to list Truvada on the PBS is extremely disappointing.

“The federal government needs to stop delaying and make this drug more affordable and accessible for people at risk of HIV.”

The PrEPX study is expected to reduce new HIV infections in Victoria by up to 30 per cent over the next few years.

Chief Executive of the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) Simon Ruth also expressed his dismay at Truvada not being listed on the PBS.

“The recent news that PrEP won’t be recommended for listing underscores how important PrEPX is for Victorians at risk of HIV,” he said.

“VAC has been working for years now to make sure gay men and others at risk of HIV understand what PrEP is, how it works, and why it’s important.”

The study will operate out of a number of sites including the Alfred Hospital and Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, with plans to expand to large regional cities like Geelong and Wodonga.

PrEP is the latest anti-retroviral medication in the fight against HIV.

Evidence has shown that when taken consistently it is 96 to 98 per cent effective in preventing HIV infection.

Find out more about the PrEPX study and how to sign up.

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One response to “PrEP trial launched in Victoria”

  1. Yes to PrEP and Yes for better access and accessibility to be able to get Generic PrEP – Trial or no trial people should go out and sought PrEP if they are having unprotected sex (risk taking for various personal reasons) – I order my generic PrEP from south Africa Swaziland and been on PrEP for about 1 year now, It cost $52AUD per bottle per month, I spend more on a bottle of Amyl, I CAUSTION that PrEP is a panesia – long term it can affect your kidneys/ in crease risk tacking/ does not protect you from other sex transmissible diseases and there is a risk that HIV in the future may become resistant to PrEP – My advise is it works now and use it IF and WHEN you need it The TRIAL needs to look at other issues as well – Who PrEP would most benefit using it and how you target those groups(saunas and clubs) / what other diseases people pick up whilst on the trial/ does it increase rather than decrease people sexual activity and how this affects people mentally – does it cause people to feel better about them self or worse/ should other supportive measures be offered is conjunction with PrEP