Availability of PrEP and PEP medication in Hong Kong
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is the use of anti-HIV medications to prevent HIV before exposure to HIV.
PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is the use of anti-HIV medications to prevent HIV infections and after having just been exposed to HIV.
AIDS Concern supports combination strategy for HIV prevention – this means using a variety of different approaches. We support PrEP and PEP as effective additional measures alongside other HIV prevention tools. If administered correctly, we believe that these two medications could play an important role in reducing the HIV epidemic.
PrEP is not yet widely available in Hong Kong and PEP is available in limited circumstances. AIDS Concern is advocating for wider adoption of PEP and PrEP in the public health system.
For PrEP, successful local introduction of PrEP is contingent on a number of factors. AIDS Concern is advocating for demonstration projects in Hong Kong to begin prescribing PrEP to people a high risk and inform future implementation efforts. Please click here for our position on PrEP, and read more about the basic information on PrEP.
For PEP, a lot of the current prescribing is for occupational exposure (for example where hospital staff may have been exposed to HIV infected blood). The prescription of PEP for non-occupational exposure (nPEP) is still an ‘exceptional measure’ according to the guideline from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), which should be considered only in the event of high-risk exposure to a source known to be HIV positive within 72 hours of exposure. The pre-requisite of needing to determine the HIV status of the source person is a serious hindrance to the prompt access to PEP for people who have experienced substantial HIV exposure. Therefore, AIDS Concern is advocating that tracing the source person should not be a barrier to prescribing PEP, and for the establishment of a clear risk assessment guideline to be followed thoroughly by healthcare providers to reduce confusion that occurs during administration of nPEP in public hospitals. Please click here for AIDS Concern’s position on PEP, and read more about the basic information on PEP.
Community evidence on PrEP and PEP
To understand more about the views of men who have sex with men (MSM) about PrEP and PEP, AIDS Concern conducted two community consultation sessions in October 2015. Read more about this from the report ‘Views of the MSM community on PrEP and PEP: A qualitative study’. (Note: Full report in English and summary report in Chinese)