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February 26, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Pharmac Funds Truvada for PrEP

The government has taken a substantial step towards the elimination of HIV transmission in New Zealand, with the announcement of the subsidisation of the antiviral drug Truvada.

A regular course of Truvada in HIV negative users “has the potential to almost completely eliminate the risk of HIV infection,” a PHARMAC press release stated.

A three-month prescribed course of Truvada currently costs around $3000. Starting 1 March 2018, PHARMAC will subsidise Truvada as a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and those meeting certain criteria will soon be able to receive the same course for only $5.

Truvada has been on the market since 2012, however its price tag has made it prohibitive for many. New Zealand will be one of the first countries to publicly fund the drug, with the policy having been widely celebrated in the Rainbow Community.

The NZ AIDS Foundation Chief Executive Jason Myers has asserted that “making [Truvada] publicly available would be a giant leap forward towards our ambitious goal of ending new HIV transmissions in New Zealand by 2025.”

Funding is also available for Post-Exposure Prophylaxais (PEP) for those concerned they may have been exposed to HIV and wish to suppress its development.

Those on PrEP are advised to maintain safe sex practices to minimise transmission rates. In particular, this means the use of condoms, and regular sexual health check-ups.

PrEP does not help prevent the spread of other Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Mauri Ora, the VUW student health service, is available for consultations.

Kelburn (04) 463 5308

Pipitea (04) 463 7474

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