New HIV Infections in MSM (Men who have sex with men) have fallen by almost a third since 2015, according to research published by Public Health England. Around half of all the new HIV infections in the UK each year are in MSM, so this means a reduction of one-sixth in new infections overall. It it thought that the main reason for this could be people buying PrEP on line.
Currently PrEP is not available on the NHS, and available privately for £400 a month. Many men are buying generic brands on line from the Far East to get the medication they want. However buying medicine in this way can be dangerous, especially if not taken under the guidance of a doctor. It is important to have regular tests of your kidney function if you are using PrEP as the drug can affect your kidneys.
PrEP works by protecting the person taking the medication. It helps the body to protect against any exposure to the HIV virus. The person will not sero-convert and will be able to continue to be HIV-negative. Medication must be taken regularly before and after intercourse. It is said to be more cost effective than the drugs for treating HIV positive people.
The drop in new infections, is significant in the first steps to preventing the spread of HIV. This shows the speed that lifestyle changes can make to people’s health, and will add weight to the campaign to have PrEP available on the NHS.