PrEP To Be Available In France From 2016

PrEP AIDSLast Monday 23 November, the French Minister of Health, Marisol Touraine, announced that PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) will be available in France from 2016. France will become only the second country, after the USA, to authorise access to PrEP. The treatment will be covered by social security.

Currently, PrEP is unavailable to most people in Europe, apart from those involved in clinical trials or individuals taking the medication informally, without the advice of a doctor.

HIV prevalence globally is estimated to be 19 times higher among gay men and other MSM, than among the rest of the population. Similarly trans women would be up to 49 times more likely to acquire HIV.
According to the European MSM Internet Survey, considered the most reliable source of information, across Europe 8% of gay men and other MSM report themselves to be living with HIV, but with big geographic and age variations. In countries like France and the UK, one in four is reported to be living with HIV, when they reach the age of 45. In the central and eastern part of the EU, the prevalence of HIV is low, but has increased fourfold since 2006.

PrEP means the use of anti-retroviral medicines (ARVs) by HIV-negative people before carrying out an action that could put them at risk of HIV transmission (such as injecting drugs or having unprotected intercourse).

LGBT organisation, ILGA-Europe, believe the right to health implies that everyone has access to comprehensive sex and relationship education, is informed of the various options they can be offered in an HIV prevention strategy and is aware of the different risks associated with various practices. This means that PrEP should be made available to all who decide to use it, provided that it is offered as one element among a combination of preventive tools. Health systems across Europe should provide LGBTI users with safe, inclusive and patient-centred environments if they want them to be part of the response to the spread of HIV.

ILGA feel that in the fight against HIV infection, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a vital tool when properly administered and monitored.

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