Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
It is now over 30 years since the first AIDS case was identified in the UK. In that time, over 50,000 gay men have been diagnosed with HIV. Tens of thousands of HIV transmissions have been prevented by condom use, but, for many reasons, many gay men don’t always use them.
However, clinicians have come up with a promising new type of treatment called PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which has the potential to prevent new infections among some of the men who are most at risk of acquiring HIV. The medication is a daily dose of one or two of the same drugs that you would take if you were HIV+, but hopefully with fewer side effects.
A UK trial of PrEP is underway, called the PROUD study, for gay and bisexual men who are at a high risk of infection.
Researchers from the study said: ‘If you did get HIV, you’d have to take lifelong treatment, but PrEP consists of fewer drugs and only needs to be taken when you are at risk of HIV.
‘If, for example, you have lots of sexual partners when you’re between boyfriends, PrEP might be right for you; you can then stop taking the medication when you stop taking risks.’
The study is looking for people from any of areas in the Uk where HIV is highest – London, Brighton, York, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham. To find out how to take part, visit the PROUD website.
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