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What are your experiences of HIV prevention drug PrEP?

12 April 2017

Scotland has become the first part of the United Kingdom to approve a drug which reduces the chances of HIV infection.

SCOTLAND is to become the first nation in the United Kingdom to offer, through the NHS, a life saving and extending drug that can lower the risk of HIV infection.

Watty Gaffney began taking Prep in January and says it seemed "a natural way to move forward" to protect his health.

Known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep), it will be used in the NHS to prevent the spread of the virus among high-risk groups as well as people who have an HIV-positive partner.

Waverley Care chief executive Grant Sugden said: "This is a ground-breaking decision that has the potential to reduce new HIV infections and also improve the quality of life of at-risk communities in Scotland".

Ibrutinib is an oral preparation that is better tolerated than now available alternatives and has been shown to delay progression of the disease with potential improvement in quality of life.

By delivering this treatment on the NHS to those most at risk - and combining it with other vital tools in our HIV prevention armoury, such as condom use, regular testing, and early diagnosis and treatment - this could mark the beginning of the end for HIV transmission in Scotland.

In Scotland, there was a slight drop in HIV diagnosis a year ago, with 295 new infections in 2016 against an annual average prior to this of 359. "I think around 100 women will benefit a year, and that's good news".

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'This decision now calls into question as to why NHS England cannot make PrEP available to all that need it and still insist on a three year trial.

He said "In one fell swoop, Scotland has leapt ahead of the rest of the United Kingdom in terms of its approach to ending the HIV epidemic".

Before the decision, women needing to access the treatment would have had... From the valuable testimonies given by patient groups and clinicians at our meeting, we know that trastuzumab emtansine will be welcomed by patients and their families for the treatment of breast cancer.

Prior to the collapse of the Northern Ireland government, the DUP chair of Stormont's Health Committee, Paula Bradley, said she would not oppose the introduction of PrEP.

For the treatment of plaque psoriasis, SMC has approved ixekizumab (Taltz) for patients who did not respond to standard therapies.

Dr MacDonald added: "We were not able to accept ticagrelor for use in this setting as there were concerns about the relative safety of the clinical benefits it might offer".

Manufacturer Roche said it is negotiating with NICE to reverse the decision but cost is the sticking point. This is a massive victory for the campaigners and charities such as HIV Scotland who have been pushing for the introduction of PrEP.

What are your experiences of HIV prevention drug PrEP?