New infections are down, despite NHS’ refusal to provide or endorse Truvada/PrEP.
I keep running up against things that convince me, little by little, that I might belong in London. I can already tell that my month-long adventure there (that starts in like five days!) is going to be verrry informative.
This morning, news that HIV infections are down by a THIRD amongst gay men in England came my way via Towleroad, and so I wanted to share it with you guys:
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by Luis Damian Veron
February 4, 2017 | 9:40am
The number of gay men in England who have contracted new HIV infections has fallen by a third since 2015, according to preliminary data presented on Wednesday at the HepHIV conference in Malta.
Reporting from sexual health clinics from across England provided the encouraging figure. Given that gay men in the broader United Kingdom represent roughly half of all new cases, the downturn would suggest significant progress in the British fight against the virus if mirrored elsewhere in the UK.
The drop seems to be attributable to a widespread increase in the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PreP, medicine that helps to prevent HIV infection.
But there’s a twist.
The catch? Because the single-payer National Health Service does not currently provide PreP, its users have often had to resort to ordering it online on the gray market, so this expanded usage has come informally rather than directed by health authorities.
It’s a messy situation with NHS that is in the process of being corrected with some clinical trials to push forward approval. But that’s going to take time. For now though, it’s incredibly encouraging and impressive that HIV education and grey-market Truvada have been able to curb new infections at this rate. And something of a marvel that so many people have sought out and begun a PrEP regimen, despite NHS’ slowness on providing it.
You can read the entire article at Towleroad, and find out more about the findings presented at the HepHIV conference this past Wednesday.
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