PrEP: A Highly Effective Preventative HIV Drug, Study Finds

Title: Groundbreaking Study Reveals HIV Prevention Drug PrEP Highly Effective in Real-World Setting

In a groundbreaking study conducted across England between October 2017 and July 2020, researchers have found that the HIV prevention drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is remarkably effective in preventing HIV infections in a real-world setting. The study, which involved 24,000 individuals across 157 sexual health clinics, is considered the largest real-world study of its kind.

The results of the study have been deemed “reassuring” and have sparked calls from leading HIV charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, for easier access to PrEP. The study revealed that when used consistently in everyday life, PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV by approximately 86%.

Funded by NHS England, the study was carried out by the UK Health Security Agency and the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Dr. John Saunders, who was involved in the research, emphasized the trial’s findings, stating that it clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of PrEP in preventing HIV transmission. He also stressed the importance of reaching more individuals with this life-saving drug.

The Terrence Higgins Trust has welcomed the study’s results, but highlights the urgent need for increased access and awareness of PrEP, especially among marginalized communities. The charity is calling for PrEP to be made available in pharmacies and online to broaden access to this essential medication.

Harry Dodd, who participated in multiple PrEP trials, described the drug as “empowering” and explained how it has liberated him from the constant fear of HIV infection.

The UK Health Security Agency also asserts that the effectiveness of PrEP will contribute to the government’s ambitious target of zero HIV transmissions by 2030. However, to achieve this goal, greater uptake of the drug is crucial.

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PrEP contains existing HIV treatment drugs and works by blocking HIV from entering the body and replicating. It can be taken as a daily pill or before sexual intercourse on an event basis.

The decision to make PrEP widely available on the NHS in England was based on prior research and clinical trials. The latest study’s results, published in the Lancet HIV, have undergone a rigorous peer review process due to the large sample size, further confirming the reliability of the findings.

This breakthrough research offers hope in the fight against HIV, underscoring the significance of PrEP as an essential tool for preventing new infections. The study’s outcomes have prompted a call for heightened accessibility and awareness of PrEP, which will play a pivotal role in reaching the government’s ambitious aim of eradicating HIV transmissions within the next decade.

Earl Warner

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