Pill To Prevent HIV Now Widely Available In Cumbria

Cumbria’s sexual health services are now able to prescribe a pill to people at high risk of contracting HIV, which, when taken correctly, greatly reduces the risk of acquiring it through sex .

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust has been involved in the successful trial of the Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pill since 2017 and now they have the go ahead to be able to offer it more widely, without users needing to enter a trial.

Dr Susanna Currie, Clinical Director for Sexual Health services said “We have been providing PrEP in our clinics since 2017 as part of ​the trial and we are delighted to now be able to provide it to more people on the NHS. It is a key tool to prevent the transmission of HIV.

“PrEP is suitable for people who are HIV negative and have a high risk for acquiring HIV. It can be taken by anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Trials have shown it is at 87 percent effective in the reduction of transmission, when taken correctly.”

From today, Tuesday June 1, coinciding with Pride Month, there will be additional clinics running to help make more people aware of the availability of PrEP and the Trust’s sexual health teams and keen to speak to anyone who thinks they may be eligible.

Professor Matt Phillips, consultant in sexual health said: “Do come forward if you think this might be useful for you, we’ll have a confidential chat about the benefits and if it is right for you we can get you started on PrEP.

“This is all part of the work nationally to end HIV transmissions by 2030 so if we can offer you added protection, we’d love to”