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.
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.