Top team! Leading HIV prevention and it's all about consent in Sexual Health Week

Our Sexual Health Services Team is leading a new drug  trial  locally designed to prevent the transmission of HIV.

We've been selected due to our excellent reputation and are only the second area in West Yorkshire to be taking part so far.

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, widely known as PrEP, is a daily pill that is available to those who are considered to be at the highest risk of contracting the virus.

As part of new research, the PrEP Impact Trial will offer 10,000 applicants nationwide the opportunity to access the drug for free, with applications to access the medicine now open at Halifax’s Broad Street Plaza clinic.

Without funding, PrEP can be highly expensive, and to buy it privately it has to be shipped from overseas and at a cost of £1,000 a year and many people within high risk communities can’t afford to access it.

Dr Maneh Farazmand - pictured centre -  is the Research Lead for Halifax Sexual Health Services and the Principal Investigator for the PrEP Study in the trust.

She said that Halifax was chosen to be part of the trial because of it’s “excellent reputation” when it comes to sexual health research. “Halifax has been the second centre after Leeds to offer PrEP, in contrast to other centres within West Yorkshire which are still awaiting the trial centre permission to start,” she explained. “We have had an excellent response to the trial and nearly all the spaces have been filled in.”

The PrEP Impact Trial was first rolled out to all the major cities across the UK including London, Birmingham and Manchester, with smaller towns being given access to the medicine within the last few months. It will act as a tool for the NHS to evaluate how many people would want to access PrEP and for how long they would be likely to use it.

A preliminary trial named PROUD has already been completed by the University College London revealed that PrEP was 86% effective in preventing the transmission of HIV, with other trials claiming a 99% proficiency.

Campaigners hope the launch of the trial will reduce the rate of HIV acquisition in the town’s high risk populations, in turn reducing the spiralling cost of living with the HIV infection.

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The team is also supporting his year's  national Sexual Health Week  throughout next week.

It is all about consent and young people -  a topic that underpins relationships, sexual health and wellbeing. The two posters attached highlight the key messages.

Consent: Yes, yes, yes! 

It’s about listening, negotiating, and enthusiastically agreeing.