Access to PrEP could reduce new HIV infections by a third in the US: Research

Joseph McCormick July 15, 2016
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The number of new HIV infections in the next ten years could be cut by a third if PrEP drugs are taken by eligible men, researchers have said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that if gay and bi men who fit into three categories take PrEP, the rate of new infections could fall by a third.

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The Department says that Truvada, taken daily by 40 percent of high-risk men, could prevent as many as 1,162 infections in every 100,000 over a period of ten years.

“We were all interested in estimating the public health impact and efficiency of PrEP,” said Samuel Jenness, the study’s author, of Emory University in Atlanta.

It is estimated that PrEP is 92 percent effective at preventing HIV infections.

Meanwhile in the UK, the High Court has agreed to review a decision by NHS England not to roll-out the drug.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada can reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV by up to 99 percent, if taken daily, according to some studies.

Though the drug is endorsed by the World Health Organisation and is available to at-risk gay men in a number of countries, NHS England has repeatedly deferred a decision on the drugs – despite a pilot scheme showed the drugs were incredibly effective at reducing HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM).

This week, NHS England ruled out a large scale roll-out for PrEP instead funding a further two-year trial at “early implementer” sites – claiming that it does not have authority to commission the drugs.

Sexual health groups said the decision puts men at risk, while London Councils accused the NHS of “playing a waiting game”, stringing out a decision until drug patents expire.

More: PrEP, Truvada, US

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