One in four sexual health clinics in England now participating in PrEP trial

So far, a total of 65 genitourinary medicine clinics have signed up to take part in NHS England’s pre-exposure prophylaxis trial.

Hospital entrance sign showing sexual health clinic

More than a quarter of sexual health clinics in England are now enrolling patients at risk of HIV in the pre-exposure prophylaxis trial (PrEP) funded by NHS England.

There are 230 specialised genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in England, eligible to recruit patients, and 65 are now accepting people, up from around 35 clinics in November 2017, latest figures from NHS England show.

Most sexual health clinics are expected to take part in the trial, and all participating clinics are expected to be accepting patients by April 2018.

The timing of when clinics join the trial is dependent on the speed at which clinics can get local approval and put systems in place to train staff and capture trial data.

In a statement, NHS England said: “We are currently working with clinics and community groups to ensure everyone has the latest information on the trial and is aware that clinics across the country will be opening soon.”

Scope of trial

The three-year clinical trial, which will cost NHS England £10m and recruit at least 10,000 patients, will focus on how long participants stay on PrEP and the impact the product has on HIV incidence. More than 3,200 people were enrolled in the first 12 weeks of the trial.

NHS England announced the trial in December 2016 after a Court of Appeal ruling in November 2016 said that NHS England does have the power, although not the obligation, to fund the provision of antiretroviral drugs for the prevention of HIV.

Meanwhile, London has joined the global Fast-Track Cities initiative, which aims to end new HIV infections by 2030.

The initiative is a partnership between more than 200 high HIV burden cities, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “By signing London up as a Fast-Track City, we are taking on the challenge to end new HIV infections in the capital by 2030. We must be ambitious, and I am confident that by working together we can achieve this goal.”

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, February 2018, Vol 300, No 7910;300(7910):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20204262

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