HIV drug Prep given to 390 people during Wales trial

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The Prep pillImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Scotland was the first place in the UK to routinely offer Prep to eligible patients

A drug that cuts the risk of contracting HIV has been given to almost 400 people in nine months.

The Welsh Government is funding a three-year trial, launched in July, of the daily pill Prep despite being recommended not to pay for the drug on cost-effectiveness grounds.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said none of the 386 people given Prep so far had developed HIV.

Scientists found the drug could protect people at high risk of contracting it.

Prep is suggested for people who might not have safe sex and one estimate suggested it could cost the NHS about £2.5m a year in Wales.

About 150 new people are diagnosed with HIV in Wales each year, nearly half of the cases were sexually transmitted infections between men.

Mr Gething said: "Making Prep available in Wales is an important part of our wider approach to HIV prevention. I am proud that Wales is able to lead the way in the delivery of Prep."

What is Prep?

  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) is a small, blue pill
  • It protects cells in the body and disables the virus to stop it multiplying if it enters the body
  • Taken daily, it has been shown to reduce the risk of infection by 86%
  • It is currently used in the US, Canada, Australia and France to help protect gay men at high risk of contracting HIV