On World AIDS Day 2017 it was announced that PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis), medication that can significantly reduce the risk of contracting HIV sexually, will be more affordable in Ireland from Monday 4 December 2017.
A generic version of the drug, produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland, will be available for order in pharmacies across Ireland with a doctor’s prescription at a cost of approximately €100 a month. Before now, the cost of the drug was €400 per monthly prescription.
HIV Ireland has welcomed the introduction of more affordable PrEP medication, but said that “it needs to be available to everyone, not just those people who can afford it”. The organisation has called on the government to make PrEP available to all those who need it, and not to allow price to be a barrier for people accessing the medication.
How does PrEP work?
PrEP is taken once a day by HIV negative people to reduce the risk of becoming infected if sexually exposed to the virus. It’s recommended that high-risk groups, including men who have sex with men, take PrEP as a means of HIV prevention.
It's important to remember that PrEP doesn't protect you from other STIs. Condoms are the most effective form of protection against sexually transmitted infections.
In 2016, 512 new HIV diagnoses were made in Ireland, and the number of diagnoses in Ireland has increased by 35% since 2011.
Find out more about HIV and PrEP at www.hivireland.ie