MEPs calls for PrEP to be made available across Europe
MEPs in European Parliament have called for the HIV prevention drug PrEP to be made widely available across the continent.
A resolution which would see the antiretroviral drug widely distributed was passed today (July 5).
The resolution noted that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) “all but eliminates the risk of transmission where viral loads are reduced to undetectable levels”.
Seb Dance, Labour MEP for London who voted for the resolution said: “Improving access to this treatment across the EU will have a transformative effect on people’s lives.
“It is vital that we continue to invest in research to achieve effective cures for HIV, but also that we make sure that a treatment that has proven to be an incredibly successful means of prevention is accessible and affordable across the EU.”
The decision to pass the resolution came as part of the EU upping its fight against HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C.
It can drastically reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV, and is available in a number of countries to at-risk groups including men who have sex with men, sex workers and people in serodiscordant relationships.
The health body said: “These medicines are pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with tenofovir alone, or in combination with emtricitabine or lamivudine, to prevent HIV infection”.
The listing may speed up the process of making PrEP available to at-risk groups.
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Many countries have been slow in adopting the new HIV-prevention method, citing issues with the cost – though even a small reduction in HIV transmissions saves money in the long term.
In most countries where it has been approved, PrEP is still only available privately, though HIV researchers and activists support a wider rollout via public health initiatives.
The case perplexed medical experts as it is only the fourth recorded time a person has tested HIV positive while on the drugs.
Experts say the man could have come into contact with a person living with HIV who had a detectable viral load, along with a strain of the virus that is resistant to PrEP medication.