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Campaigners want HIV prevention drug on NHS

Sexual health campaigners want a pill to reduce the risk oF HIV infection available on the NHS in the UK
Sexual health campaigners want a pill to reduce the risk oF HIV infection available on the NHS in the UK

A pill which can reduce the risk of HIV infection maybe be available on the NHS, if sexual health campaigners have their way.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, more commonly known as PrEP, can reduce the risk of HIV infection if the person is exposed to the virus.

Where some campaigners are anxious to have the pill introduced to the NHS in the UK, others worry the pill may reduce condom usage for safe sex.

A trial is currently underway involving 550 gay men in Brighton called PROUD, and takes place over the course of two years.

The outcome of the trail will influence whether the pill is taken on by the NHS.

Yusef Azad, director of policy at the National Aids Trust, is hopeful the pill will be picked up, reports the Daily Mail.

'Before we get it on the NHS, which is what I think we should have, we should make sure through the PROUD trial that we're confident about some of these unanswered questions’ he said.

Healthcare providers can give the pill to anyone at significant risk of infection such as those who have partners with HIV, or those having unprotected sex.

The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 275,000 gay men could benefit from the pill.

Statistics show in 2011, there were 6,280 new diagnoses of HIV in the UK, of which around 48% were infected through heterosexual sex, and 48% through sex between men.

Around 1.2 million people in the United States live with HIV, and new infections are estimated at 50,000 each year.

Check out Gay Star News’ article on HIV myths.
 

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