People at risk of HIV to go on drug trial

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
Health Minister Roger Cook holds PrEPIT tablets alongside M Clinic WA Aids Council clinical nurse consultant Matt Jones and manager Justin Manuel.
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook holds PrEPIT tablets alongside M Clinic WA Aids Council clinical nurse consultant Matt Jones and manager Justin Manuel. Credit: Danella Bevis The West Australian.

Pilbara residents at risk of HIV will have access to a free, preventative drug as part of a new trial announced by the State Government last week.

Rural West Australians will be able to access the trial through Telehealth at Royal Perth Hospital Sexual Health Clinic.

Health Minister Roger Cook said it was imperative to reduce the rate of HIV to work towards a goal to eliminate HIV transmission by 2020.

Department of Health statistics revealed 610 cases of either chlamydia or gonorrhoea in the Pilbara during the period of July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

“Advances in science have shown that HIV can be prevented through the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis,” he said.

He said use of pre-exposure medicines had proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce the risk of HIV infection by 96 per cent.

“I am pleased that we can provide free access for those Western Australians at most risk,” he said.

“Despite an overall decline in HIV notifications in recent time, WA has seen the highest number of HIV notifications on record over the past few years.”

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