Gay men who take a daily does of Truvada as part of a PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) treatment program are 86% less likely to contract HIV according to a new study released in the UK this month.
PrEP involves HIV negative people taking a daily tablet (Truvada) that contains drugs commonly used to treat HIV in an effort to prevent them from contracting the virus should they be exposed to it.
The PROUD study was launched in 2012 and recruited 545 men who have sex with men who were deemed to be at a high risk of contracting HIV. The men were then randomly and evenly split into two groups – a treatment group who would immediately begin a daily dose of Truvada, and a control group who were given no medication for the first 12 months of the two year trial.
Of the 276 participants in the treatment group who began Prep Immediately, there were three new cases of HIV recorded, whereas in the deferred control group, 19 new cases of HIV.
The findings back up previous international studies which indicate high levels of effectiveness, including a French study also released this month which suggests effectiveness levels similar to those seen in the Proud study.
PrEP is currently available in Australia, however, is not currently included on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). A Queensland wide trial into the effectiveness of PrEP is set to commence in April, while a free PrEP community forum will be held 16 March at RAPID in Fortitude Valley.
HIV Foundation Queensland representative Scott Brown told QNews that the Foundation was excited to see further evidence that shows PrEP is an effective HIV prevention strategy.
gPrEP is increasingly becoming more and more relevant to gay men in Queensland,” Mr Brown said. “PrEP as a treatment option has understandably raises a lot of questions in the community and we are looking forward to the lively discussion at the upcoming community forum.”
The PrEP community forum will be held 6:00pm on Monday 16 March upstairs at RAPID, 2 Winn St, Fortitude Valley. While anyone is welcome to just turn up on the night, people interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07 3054 6100
If you are unable to attend the forum in person, you can log on to the Online PrEP Forum on Facebook – ‘Let’s talk about PrEP: Community Forum’. Through this online forum, people can lodge their question to be answered both on the night and on the forum.