Encouraging figures on PrEP

Earlier today, we received a really encouraging update on PrEP, highlighting the uptake of the HIV prevention drug since it became available on the NHS in Scotland last year.

In the first eight months that PrEP was available, almost 1,300 people were able to access it, higher than had initially been anticipated.

PrEP is a pill that can stop a person taking it from getting HIV. Last year, the decision was taken to make the drug available to people considered at the greatest risk of HIV, putting them in greater control of their status.

In another welcome aspect of the findings, it looks as though engagement around PrEP is encouraging more and more people through the doors of clinics to access testing and other support services. In the eight months since PrEP became available, over 1,700 people stated that it was one of the main reasons they attended a clinic. Of those, almost half had either never visited a clinic, or hadn’t been in the last two years.

Similarly, over 40% of the people who accessed PrEP did so on their first ever visit to a clinic, or on their first visit in the past two years.

That’s fantastic news. Even though PrEP isn’t for everyone, if discussions about it can encourage people to make regular testing part of their routine, it can only help work to reduce new HIV transmissions.

The update on PrEP was produced on behalf of the Scottish National PrEP Monitoring and Research Subgroup.

If you want to know more about PrEP, or want to know if it is right for you, you can get in touch with our SX Manager, Alastair Rose. We caught up with Alastair, to hear his thoughts…