Welsh Government announces three-year trial of PrEP for those at high risk of contracting HIV
Stonewall Cymru, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality charity, has welcomed a new trial announced today to provide PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) to all those at high risk of coming into contact with HIV in Wales.
PrEP is a drug that can be taken by HIV-negative individuals who are at risk of coming into contact with the virus and has been shown in several medical trials to be highly effective in lowering rates of HIV infection.
Stonewall Cymru has been campaigning for PrEP to be made available through NHS Wales for those at high risk, and this was a headline ask in their manifesto for the 2016 National Assembly for Wales elections.
Andrew White, Stonewall Cymru Director, said: ‘PrEP has been shown to be highly effective at lowering rates of HIV transmission.
This trial will allow Wales to protect those most at risk and given that it costs much more to treat than to prevent HIV, in the long-term this will also save NHS Wales money.
Although this is a temporary measure, we will press for Welsh Government to make PrEP available long-term for those who need it following the three-year trial.’
However, PrEP is not the only way to tackle HIV transmission.
Stonewall is campagining for high-quality relationship and sex education – the majority of LGBT young people say they still don’t receive the information or guidance they need to stay safe.
Stonewall Cymru will continue to work with the Welsh Government and others to update existing guidance on RSE, ensuring LGBT young people are equipped to make safe, healthy decisions about their wellbeing.’