May 3, 2021 8:16 am

Dr Renee West, GMI Development Manager, presented our PHE Innovation funded PrEP Champions Project at the 25th Annual Conference of the British HIV Association (2-5th April) in Bournemouth. This Project was conducted in collaboration with Prepster.

The presentation entitled ‘Attitudes and factors to PrEP uptake among HIV risk groups across London’ also won the Mediscript Award for Best oral presentation for work in social sciences or community-based work’.

The overall aim of the Project was to increase knowledge of PrEP and how to access it. Over 1000 participants including women, MSM and BAME and trans people were reached. Some of the more important findings were:

  • Less than 1 in 2 people had heard about PrEP
  • Most would use PrEP when needed however the percentages were lower among women and trans people
  • Factors to PrEP use include cost, knowledge and accessibility/availability.

Dr West also urged further investment in HIV prevention programmes:

Today more that anytime in the history of [the HIV] epidemic, we have the tools to reduce HIV incidence to zero. PrEP is but one of these tools in the entire armoury against HIV – but a very important one. Throughout the conference I heard the theme of dwindling resources. I want to add my voice to this cry and both challenge and invite the powers that be to increase their investment in HIV prevention programmes, especially those working directly with ‘higher risk’ populations in the community, to see this through to the end. We have an opportunity to collectively raise our game beyond the understandable financial constraints. We must accept this challenge!

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