Western Australians at risk of HIV will have access to a free, preventative drug as part of a new trial announced by the State Government today, and Fremantle Hospital’s South Terrace Clinic will be among the sites participating to provide access to a HIV prevention drug for up to 2000 people.  

The pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation trial for WA, (PrEPIT WA) will run out of four WA clinics, and be available for up to 2,000 people.

The trial will focus on ensuring that people at risk of contracting HIV are linked into a service which can assist them in deciding whether PrEP is right for them.

It will be delivered as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package consisting of targeted and innovative community education, promotion of safer sex practices, HIV and sexual health testing, and rapid access to sexually transmitted infection and HIV treatment.

In line with similar trials being run in other health jurisdictions, PrEPIT WA will run for two years and will be administered through:

  • The M Clinic (part of WA AIDS);
  • GP on Beaufort;
  • Royal Perth Hospital Sexual Health Clinic; and
  • Fremantle Hospital’s South Terrace Clinic.

It will also be available for rural Western Australians through Telehealth at Royal Perth Hospital Sexual Health Clinic.

The medications for PrEP are currently approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and will be considered for a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing in December 2017.

Should a PBS listing for PrEP eventuate in 2018, PrEPIT participants will have the option to leave the trial and obtain PrEP through a community pharmacy.

“Advances in science have shown that HIV can be prevented though the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis,” said Health Minister Roger Cook.

“PrEP has proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce the risk of HIV infection by 96 per cent, and I am pleased that we can provide free access for those Western Australians at most risk.

“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.

“It is imperative that we do everything we can to reduce these rates, as we work towards our goal to virtually eliminate HIV transmission by 2020.”