Study: Abortion Pills Ordered Online Were Safe, But None Came With Instructions

Rewire, Oct 10, 2017

New research shows that you can buy effective abortion pills online. This is a groundbreaking finding given that cost, travel, and onerous abortion restrictions often make in-clinic, first-trimester abortions inaccessible.

In the study, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Contraception, researchers ordered abortion pills from 20 websites, none of which required a prescription. Once the pills arrived in their homes, researchers sent the pills to a lab in good standing with the FDA to test the pills’ chemical contents.

The lab confirmed that all of the mifepristone, one of the two drugs used during a medication abortion, was within 8 percent of the advertised—and World Health Organization-approved—effective amount. The other drug, misoprostol, varied more considerably in how much of it was present in the pills the researchers received. Despite this variation, the researchers determined that the misoprostol pills would still be effective in causing an abortion.

UK report gives thumbs up to generic HIV drugs used as PrEP

A sexual health clinic in London has tested drug levels in users of generic PrEP medication bought online and found the drugs are genuine and effective.

Tests found adequate levels of both emtricitabine and tenofovir (used in PrEP medication Truvada) in patients’ blood, and no sample suggesting counterfeit drugs.

AFAO publishes Australian PrEP roundup

 Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), 23 August, 2016

Following the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) decision not to recommend funding PrEP through the Pharmaceutical Benifits Scheme (PBS), AFAO has produced an Australian PrEP roundup paper to sustain advocacy efforts and to raise awareness about current options for accessing PrEP around the country.

In releasing their decision, the PBAC has said they accept the importance of PrEP but were unable to recommend it for a number of  reasons, including the cost-effectiveness of the price submitted by Gilead Sciences.

Despite this setback, AFAO will continue with community advocacy to have Gilead Sciences resubmit its application as soon as possible. Interim PrEP access arrangements remain crucial in the meantime.

Download Australian PrEP roundup

PrEP: HIV drug trials expanding to 2,000 men in Qld after ‘brave’ government decision

ABC News, 27/04/16, 5:12pm

A groundbreaking new drug tipped to stop the spread of HIV within just a few years will be available to more than 2,000 Queensland men under a $6 million trial program.

The trials make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) available to men who have sex with men, as a means of preventing HIV transmission.

Read more here

First data on uptake of HIV self-testing in the UK

nam/aidsmap, 26 April 2016

Between April 2015 and February 2016, almost 28,000 people have paid £29.95 for a kit allowing them to test for HIV at home, according to a presentation at the British HIV Association conference in Manchester last week. Marketing on Grindr has been important to driving sales, which have been concentrated in non-urban areas.

Read more here

London sexual health clinics step up their support for people buying PrEP online

nam/aidsmap, 29 January 2016

Several large sexual health clinics in London and Brighton have responded to the growing numbers of people importing PrEP medications from overseas by offering free safety monitoring to PrEP users. This is in a context of increasing frustration with the slowness of the official NHS process to approve PrEP – no decision will be made until June at the earliest.

  • Read more here
  • See the Getting Your PrEP Online support page from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital here
  • See UK PrEP advoacy pages here and here
  • See an Australian PrEP advoacy page here