Terrence Higgins Trust comments on the first trial of HIV-prevention treatment

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Terrence Higgins Trust’s Chief Executive, Sir Nick Partridge, said: “With far too many gay men still being newly infected with HIV every year in the UK, this trial result is potentially very significant and could change the HIV prevention landscape in the future. It’s vital that we expand the ways we can prevent HIV transmission, particularly amongst those most at risk.

“We’ve eagerly anticipated the results of this new approach. This trial proves that HIV treatment will have an impact on prevention, but that it’s not ready for widespread use yet. Both in this trial, and in real life, condoms and intensive support around safer sex are used together to significantly help reduce the risk of HIV infection.

“Three major hurdles are still going to be its cost, the risks of drug-resistant strains of HIV developing and taking a drug treatment every day. There is already a trial underway assessing the intermittent use of anti-HIV drugs before and after having sex and we expect the results of that trial in the next few months.

“For now, and for the foreseeable future, condoms remain the most effective, easily available and cheapest way of preventing HIV transmission. As this trial suggests, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is going to be an addition to condom use rather than a replacement of it.

“If anyone is worried they may have put themselves at risk of HIV, they can get support from one of our team at THT Direct by phoning 0845 12 21 200.”

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