It must be recognised that 300 places are not enough for all people in NSW who can benefit from PrEP. New South Wales will soon host a landmark clinical trial, also led by researchers from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Australia, designed to reduce new HIV infections to half the present rate within two years and to virtually eliminate HIV transmission by 2020.
The NSW Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner, chose World AIDS Day to launch the EPIC-NSW trial (Expanded PrEP Implementation in Communities). To get involved, please visit: www.endinghiv.org.au/nsw/epic
PRELUDE is the first PrEP demonstration study in NSW, which now provides access to PrEP to about 300 people who need it for prevention of HIV infection. Currently, eight clinics across NSW are providing services to PRELUDE participants. Exciting news for the PRELUDE participants is the fact that their access to PrEP through this project has now been extended to 2.5 years.
On this World AIDS Day 2015, we congratulate all PRELUDE study participants, investigators, partners and supporters with the first anniversary of this project. We also thank all participants for the continuing contribution to the PRELUDE project and, through it, to the communities in NSW which it serves and informs.
PRELUDE has already provided a number of important lessons, particularly about the acceptability of PrEP in NSW communities, how it works and how to provide it to people who need it. The project has also contributed to the development of the NSW PrEP guidelines.
The Kirby Institute is starting an exciting new demonstration project PRELUDE which will provide daily preexposure prophylaxis of HIV (PrEP) to people who are not HIV positive and are at risk of getting HIV infection. In the next 12 months, researchers will enrol 300 people for the study with a focus on those at heightened risk of acquiring HIV.
Initially, the study will recruit participants in four large HIV and sexual health services in NSW which currently provide ARVs as treatment and as non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis of HIV. These will include:
- Sydney Sexual Health Centre (SSHC)
- St. Vincent’s Hospital (SVH)
- Royal Prince Alfred Sexual Health (RPASH)
- Western Sydney Sexual Health Clinic
- As recruitment evolves, other health providers in NSW will be engaged.
Those people who have already expressed interest to participate in the study will be gradually invited for the study screening and enrolment. If you have not expressed your interest yet, no worries, you can ask your doctor at your next HIV/sexual health check-up about how to participate in the study.