Terrence Higgins Trust is urging gay men across the country to tell each other about PEP – post exposure prophylaxsis – a month long course of HIV treatment that may prevent HIV infection after the virus has entered the body.
Last year, Terrence Higgins Trust and its partners in the CHAPS programme ran a mass media campaign to increase men’s awareness of PEP, with the campaign doubling men’s awareness of the emergency treatment.
The campaign is running again from 1 November 2006 with adverts in the gay press, banners on gay web sites and outreach work taking place across England and Wales.
Will Nutland, Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust said “It’s important that we continue to raise our awareness about PEP and the circumstances when PEP is likely to be prescribed. PEP needs to be taken as soon after exposure to HIV as possible – within hours – and the number of clinics offering PEP has increased over the last 18 months”.
A study published this week by Sigma Research demonstrates the importance of ‘early innovators’ to those seeking PEP – men who find out about information early on and then pass that information on to their friends and sexual partners.
Will went on to say “We can saturate the gay press with information about PEP and there will still be men who need to know about it who don’t. We are urging gay men and bisexual men to pass information about PEP on to their friends and sexual partners – we can do this by giving out PEP booklets, telling each other about the CHAPS PEP site and talking to each other about PEP”.
Gay men and bisexual men can obtain copies of THT’s PEP information booklet by calling THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200 and find more information about PEP by visiting www.tht.org.uk/pep or www.chapsonline.org.uk/pep