When I first heard about the HIV-prevention drug PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis – I had mixed feelings. It remains controversial even among readers of the gay magazine Attitude. “Why should my taxes pay for these sluts to have bareback sex?” is a typical comment. But I was worried that my reaction was the result of anti-gay conditioning, being brought up to think that I didn’t deserve the same rights as the rest of society, and I wanted to challenge this by taking the drug for three months to find out more.
VAC has learned that a person on the Victorian PrEPX study has seroconverted and become HIV positive. There are two ways that this may have occurred.
• If a person is not adherent to their PrEP regimen (taking the prescribed dose regularly) it is possible that they would not be protected against acquiring HIV;
• If a person comes into contact with a person living with HIV who has detectable viral load together with a strain of the virus that is resistant to PrEP medication it is possible (although extremely rare) that they might acquire that viral strain of HIV.
“Currently there are over 100,000 individuals who are taking PrEP globally as a way to protect themselves against HIV acquisition. To date there have been no confirmed cases in Australia of a person on PrEP being infected with a drug-resistant HIV,” commented VAC CEO, Simon Ruth.
There has been a lot of community interest in the PrEPX-SA trial. You are invited to an upcoming community forum where a distinguished panel of experts and community members involved in the field will discuss PrEP,a powerful new tool to prevent HIV and the upcoming PrEPX-SA study.
The panel will include:
Associate Professor Edwina Wright (Alfred Health)
Professor Steve Wesselingh (SAHMRI)
Dr Charlotte Bell (Clinic 275)
Community membersWHEN: THURSDAY APRIL 27 6 PM – 7.30 PM
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Monday, 27 February 2017
South Australians at a high risk of acquiring HIV will have the opportunity to benefit from the latest HIV prevention medication through a new partnership.
Following the announcement of the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) access trial late last year, Victoria’s Alfred Health has been chosen to partner with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), SA Health and local clinics for the study to begin in April.
“We want to include people from culturally and linguistically diverse populations and Aboriginal people so that these communities are not adversely affected by HIV,” Professor Wesselingh said.
The Victorian AIDS Council has announced it will give an additional $100,000 to the PrEPX trial to fund access to pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV (PrEP) for 600 Victorians at risk.
VAC’s announcement comes months after PrEPX reached capacity for men living in
metropolitan Melbourne. The VAC said there is already a substantial waiting list for those wishing to access PrEP as part of the trial.