BHIVA calls for rapid assessment of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis funding feasibility as PROUD Study exceeds expectations

Tuesday 24 February 2015

The British HIV Association, the UK's leading HIV care professional body, today welcomed the outcome of the PROUD Study of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV, hailing 'a significant advance in HIV prevention', but also emphasized the continuing, critical need for a wide range of initiatives designed to prevent transmission of the infection between men who have sex with men.

BHIVA Chair and Consultant in HIV at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Dr David Asboe, said: "There can be no doubt that today's announcement from the PROUD Study heralds a significant advance in HIV prevention. The results prove the high level of protection against HIV infection afforded by PrEP in real world situations, which was even higher than most HIV professionals expected. The results also indicate no untoward side effects and no evidence of PrEP leading to more condomless sex. We now strongly urge the NHS to rapidly assess the feasibility of funding PrEP throughout the UK, and look forward to the outcome of cost-effectiveness analyses currently being undertaken.

One unexpected outcome of the study - the shockingly high incidence of HIV infection among study participants not offered PrEP from the start of the trial - confirms our belief that PrEP will be deployed most effectively as part of a holistic prevention package, also including initiatives designed to promote condom use and regular HIV testing to help reduce the numbers of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men from their current high levels, with an estimated 2,800 new infections reported in 2013."


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About BHIVA
Founded in 1995, BHIVA is a well-established organisation which is committed to providing excellence in the care of those living with and affected by HIV. It acts as a national advisory body to professions and other organisations on all aspects of HIV care. BHIVA also provides a national platform for HIV care and contributes representatives for international, national and local committees dealing with HIV care. In addition, BHIVA works to promote undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education within HIV care. Visit www.bhiva.org for more information about BHIVA, and follow us on Twitter @BritishHIVAssoc


Notes for editors
The results of the PROUD Study, released at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) held this week in Seattle Washington, indicate that PrEP is highly protective for men who have sex with men, reducing the risk of HIV infection by 86%.

Launched in 2012, the PROUD study was led by the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London and Public Health England, in partnership with 12 NHS trusts in England, to determine whether offering the anti-retroviral drug Truvada (usually used to treat HIV) as daily HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to men who have sex with men was a reliable way to prevent HIV infection if exposed to the virus. The study enrolled 545 participants at 13 sexual health clinics in England.