Alfred Health’s highly successful PrEPX study will be expanded into South Australia thanks to a new partnership with South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and SA Health.
There have been close to 60 new HIV infections in South Australia every year for the past five years. PrEPX-SA will monitor how providing large-scale access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication impacts the rate of new infections across the state. There will be 500 places available in the study.
Lead researcher, Associate Professor Edwina Wright, said the PrEPX-SA study in South Australia will draw from the Victorian PrEPX study, which was launched in July last year and quickly reached capacity.
“The strength of the Victorian PrEPX study is that we worked in close partnership with Victorian clinical services and community organisations, and we will adopt this approach in South Australia,” A/Prof Wright said.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with South Australia to build a PrEP response that specifically meets the needs of South Australians.”
The trial in SA will provide important data and widen the scope of the PrEPX study.
“We want to include people from culturally and linguistically diverse populations and Aboriginal people so that these communities are not adversely affected by HIV,” said SAHMRI Executive Director, Professor Steve Wesselingh.
“SAHMRI will play an important role in monitoring and evaluating the trial as it is rolled out. At the end of the day, we, like other jurisdictions, want to minimise the number of new HIV cases each year and move toward a goal of no new cases in South Australia.”
Local sexual and general practice clinics will play an important part in the PrEPX-SA access trial for study participants.
Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) CEO SImon Ruth, who works in partnership with SHine SA said PrEP was established as a leading HIV prevention tool.
"This announcement is an important milestone for the health of South Australians at risk of HIV," Mr Ruth said.
"By adopting World Health Organisation guidelines that PrEP should be part of the HIV prevention toolkit, South Australia is joining the ranks of the those states and countries worldwide that are leading the way in the ongoing response to HIV.”
Full details about PrEPX-SA will be finalised in the coming weeks.
More information about PrEPX-SA is available here.