LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:35
Last week marked a very significant moment for the NSW response to HIV with the official launch of the EPIC-NSW PrEP trial by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner.
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis and it’s an antiretroviral treatment taken by HIV negative people at high risk of acquiring HIV to prevent infection.
Studies have shown that PrEP is extremely effective at preventing HIV transmission.
The Expanded PrEP Implementation in Communities (EPIC-NSW) study aims to increase understanding of the potential for PrEP to drive down new HIV infections here in NSW.
Through PrEP, the potential for us to very dramatically alter the course of the HIV epidemic is real and we’re confident that the approach we’re now taking with this study will help us realise this goal.
Along with testing more often, staying safe and for those who need to, treating as soon as possible, PrEP gives gay men and other men who have sex with men another way to take action to drive down the transmission of HIV.
ACON is proud to be a key partner in the roll out of EPIC-NSW., as we are committed to ensuring the voice of our community contributes to the design and implementation of large scale studies like EPIC-NSW.
We’re assisting with the EPIC-NSW enrolment with our staff being utilised in recruitment sites like a[TEST] Oxford St and Surry Hills.
We’re working with our valued partners Sydney Sexual Health, and also RPA Sexual Health to deliver peer based education alongside EPIC-NSW recruitment.
And we’re currently working on a new PrEP campaign to support EPIC-NSW enrolment, which we hope to start promoting in the very near future.
The recent news that Truvada was approved for use as PrEP by the TGA is fantastic, and one welcomed by the entire HIV partnership across the country.
We now need to advocate on behalf of our communities to have PrEP listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to ensure that gay men across Australia have access to this game-changing treatment.