Cities across England will participate in a three-year trial to test the effectiveness of the HIV prevention drug PrEP in what insiders have described as “the world’s biggest pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation trial.”
Sexual health clinics in London, Brighton, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield have started enrolling people and more cities are expected to participate in the NHS England-funded trial next year.
A government report this year claimed there had been a decline in new HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men in London although it warned that “despite the good news, challenges remain in the response to the HIV epidemic in the UK.”
“The impact of this complex illness has been widespread and devastating; more than 70 million people have been infected and 35 million have died from HIV since the epidemic began,” said Jacek Glinka, president of Mylan Europe who were chosen to provide antiretrovirals for the trial.
“We all know the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ and this is never more true than when we discuss HIV and AIDS. The NHS PrEP trial offers hope, not only to those participating in the trial, but for the millions around the world who stand to benefit from the results.
“While treatment for those living with HIV is crucial, the importance of breaking new ground with preventative medication to reduce infection rates can’t be underestimated. We see this trial as a huge step forward in the battle against HIV and are delighted to be involved.”
Of the trial which coincides with World AIDS day, Mylan said: “This major new NHS-England funded 3-year trial is designed to assess the full additional potential of PrEP by gathering clinical evidence on optimal targeting, update and implementation on a large scale.”