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PrEP & COVID-19
For many, physical distancing and limiting our contact with others will mean reducing our sexual encounters. If you're not having sex or you've limited to one regular partner, what does this mean for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)?
HIV & AIDS
Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is the use of medication to prevent HIV. By taking PrEP, people who are HIV-negative (meaning they do not have HIV) can reduce the risk of getting HIV by almost 100%. Several studies have confirmed that using PrEP is incredibly effective at preventing HIV.
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27 Nov 2019
Newsletter - Summer 2020
In the lead up to World AIDS Day 2019, we're releasing our summer newsletter to get you ready for the upcoming silly season.
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27 Mar 2019
Thorne Harbour releases clip explaining on-demand PrEP as HIV prevention strategy
With the recent increase in the community dialogue around on-demand PrEP as an HIV prevention strategy, Thorne Harbour Health (formerly the Victorian AIDS Council) has released a video explaining how this alternative dosing option of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) works. PrEP is a highly effective HIV prevention strategy that includes HIV negative individuals regularly taking HIV medication to prevent the acquisition of HIV. Following approval by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration in 2016, PrEP was added to Australia’s PBS in April 2018. While PrEP is typically taken daily to prevent the acquisition of HIV, research has shown that on-demand PrEP is an effective alternative for people who don’t have sex frequently or struggle to adhere to daily dosing. On-demand PrEP includes taking two pills 2-24 hours before a sexual encounter and then a single pill 24 hours later and another 48 hours later. Additional dosing is necessary if you have additional sexual encounters during this 48 hour period. The video from Thorne Harbour explains the process in greater detail. On-demand PrEP dosing is included in the PrEP guidelines released by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). “We’re seeing an increased interest in using on-demand PrEP among the communities we work with, and it’s incredibly important that people understand how on-demand PrEP works before deciding to use this HIV prevention strategy,” said Thorne Harbour CEO Simon Ruth. “We’re at a point in the epidemic where we’re starting to realise the full potential of biomedical prevention. PrEP, alongside undetectable viral load through effective treatment, is leading the way as the most effective strategy at stopping the onward transmission of HIV.” “With nearly half a million PrEP users worldwide, PrEP is proven to be incredibly effective at preventing HIV. Here in Victoria, we have seen one of the most progressive community conversations around using this tool for HIV prevention,” said Thorne Harbour President Chad Hughes. “We need to keep pace with the communities we serve and ensure we provide them with evidence-based information so they can make an informed choice about looking after their sexual health and wellbeing.”Watch the on-demand PrEP video here.
7 Sep 2020
PrEP Community Congratulates Prepped Smart & Healthy on Million Dollar Milestone
Thorne Harbour Health (formerly the Victorian AIDS Council) congratulates Prepped Smart and Healthy on contributing over $1 million towards eliminating HIV in Australia by creating greater access to cost effective Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP, a daily pill, prevents the acquisition of HIV. In just over two years, Prepped Smart and Healthy has supported thousands of individuals to access PrEP by subsidising the cost.“Prepped Smart & Healthy is doing remarkable work in supporting people to overcome financial barriers and take control of their health and wellbeing through the use of PrEP,” said Thorne Harbour Health CEO Simon Ruth.“It is through the collective action of organisations like Prepped Smart and Healthy that we’re going to see the virtual elimination of HIV across Australia.”The program aims to reduce the cost of medication down a third of the usual cost. For example, general patients with a Medicare card can expect to pay $41 for a three-month supply as opposed to $123. For Concession card holders the cost would be reduced from $19.80 to just $6.60. Last year, Thorne Harbour Health awarded Prepped Smart & Healthy’s founder, Joseph Tesoriero, the 2019 President’s Award after the newly-established charity distributed more than $500,000 in subsidies after its first year. To date, it’s estimated that as many as 5,000 people have accessed PrEP through this program on multiple occassions.Joseph Tesoriero is also the Proprietor of the HealthSmart Group of Pharmacies that Prepped Smart & Healthy has stemmed from.“The purpose of Prepped Smart and Healthy is to make medications more affordable for those marginalised communities where the high cost may prevent access. By removing the barrier of financial burden, adherence is made easier and the risk of medication failure is lowered, enabling better health outcomes,” said Tesoriero.The milestone in HIV prevention has been applauded by advocacy groups and community organisations that have worked to gain access to this biomedical tool for HIV prevention.PrEP access advocacy group PAN (PrEP Access Now) expressed their gratitude by saying, “On behalf of the PAN committee, we extend our most sincere thanks to Joseph and the Prepped Smart and Healthy team for this astounding achievement. The Australian PrEP community fought long and hard for affordable access to HIV preventative medication to better take charge of their sexual health. To have such profound support has undoubtedly benefited so many. This news is especially poignant as we navigate a global crisis where we have never been so cognisant of our health and wellbeing”Founders of the online community group PrEP’D For Change added, “PrEP’D For Change commends Prepped Smart & Healthy for their dedication to supporting communities at risk of HIV and improving affordable access to this gamechanging medication beyond the subsidy made possible by the Australian Government. The significant uptake of this charitable offer is testament to PrEP user’s ongoing commitment to protecting themselves and their communities.”