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Effectiveness of PrEP is confirmed

posted by: Susan Mills

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or  PrEP as it is known, is a pill that HIV-negative people can take before sex to help reduce the risk of HIV acquisition (catching HIV).

A landmark new study has confirmed that PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV acquisition.*

The PrEP Impact Trial, involving more than 24,000 participants between October 2017 and July 2020, was the largest real-world study involving trial participants at sexual health clinics and was aimed at seeing how effective the drug was when used in everyday life.  The study has found use of HIV PrEP reduced the chances of getting HIV by 86%, and considerably reduced HIV acquisition in real-world settings across several years of use.

Dr John Saunders, Deputy Head of Programme Delivery and Service Improvement for STI and HIV Division, from UKHSA, said:  ‘This trial has further demonstrated the effectiveness of PrEP in preventing HIV transmission.  Now we know just how effective PrEP is in real-world settings, substantially reducing the chance of acquiring HIV. It’s vital that all those who can benefit from PrEP can access it.’

HIV testing and PrEP is available for free from Devon Sexual Health clinics.  The online PrEP tool from the Terrence Higgins Trust is a quick and easy way to know if PrEP would be of benefit for you.

Further information is also available from PrEPMyWay. 

Condoms remain the primary way to prevent most STI’s. If you use condoms consistently, then we would not encourage you to swap them for PrEP. Condoms and PrEP should work in tandem to reduce your risk of acquiring all STIs.

If you would like to discuss PrEP with us, or would like to arrange testing for HIV, call 0300 303 3989. You can find your nearest sexual health clinic here.

*Source: UKSHA

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