Victoria GPs to prescribe HIV-preventing drugs to high-risk patients

Joseph McCormick December 1, 2015
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Trained GPs will be allowed to prescribe PrEP without approval in the Australian state of Victoria.

The Government in Victoria today announced the measure at a World AIDS Day conference in Melbourne.

The state’s health minister Jill Hennessy made the announcement.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a term for drugs such as Truvada which are prescribed as a preventative measure against HIV.

Although Truvada hasn’t been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Hennessy said allowing doctors to prescribe the drug to high-risk patients is an important step.

Doctors with specific training in HIV will be able to provide the drug.

“PrEP is a drug that has shown enormous signs of success, particularly internationally, in dealing with what was once an incredibly challenging epidemic,” said Hennessy.

“We think this is an important interim step until we can get the very important access to PrEP through the TGA and PBS.

“If we’re really serious about meeting the targets we’ve set ourselves, I think this will be a turning point in terms of PrEP, which will become a part of our HIV strategy.”

Hennessy estimated that several dozen Victoria GPs will be able to provide PrEP to some who need it.

“There is no doubt that this drug is part of the future story of HIV prevention and treatment in this country,” she said.

Some jurisdictions have allowed access to PrEP, and trials are ongoing in others.

Related topics: Australia, Australia, HIV, PrEP, Victoria

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