HIV prevention: PrEP essential element of overall treatment package

23/02/2015

In the fight against HIV infection, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a vital tool when properly administered and monitored.

PrEP means the use of anti-retroviral medicines (ARVs) by HIV-negative people before carrying out an action (such as injecting drugs or having unprotected intercourse) that could put them at risk of HIV transmission.

Currently, PrEP is unavailable to most people in Europe, apart from those involved in clinical trials or individuals taking the medication informally, without the advice of a doctor.

ILGA-Europe strives to protect the right to health and the right to life of all LGBTI people. In this context, we advocate that everyone should have the right to make an informed choice regarding whether or not they want to use PrEP. However, PrEP is not a miracle cure. The treatment’s success is dependent on strict medical observation and follow-up. This requires non-discriminating and patient-centred health care, the very relationships that many LGBTI people lack when it comes to medical care.

The Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) is taking place in Seattle on 23-26 February. ILGA-Europe would like to take this opportunity to remind policymakers of the following principles:

  1. The right to health implies that everyone has access to comprehensive sex and relationship education and is informed of the various options they can be offered in an HIV prevention strategy and of the different risks associated with various practices.
  2. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) should be made available to all who decide to use it, provided that it is offered as one element among a combination of preventive tools.
  3. Health systems across Europe should provide LGBTI users with safe, inclusive and patient-centred environments if they want them to be part of the response to HIV-AIDS.

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More detailed information on Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is also available to download as a pdf.

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