Tuesday, February 21, 2006

PEP to be more available on the NHS

I awoke this morning to a rather terrifying sound. A doctor saying that someone who exposed themself to HIV through sexual contact was not deserving of PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) because, well, basically, its their own fault.

Anyway - the good news is that his views were only sought because of the increased availability of PEP to all on the NHS . The drug has been available to healthcare workers for years. If I ever have a needlestick injury at work (distinctly unlikely as I don't deal with that sort of thing) and the client is at risk of or has HIV, then I just have to nip over to occupational health and I can be given the drug. It costs about £600 - £1000 (i.e. not much in the scheme of things, particularly in comparison to treating someone with HIV). Apparently its a bit of a nasty concoction and makes you pretty sick for about a month so I don't think anyone is going to rely on it for protection. Bleurgh! I am glad. I don't think there's any evidence that increased availability of PEP will lead to an increase in risky sexual activity (just like the availability of the morning afterpill & abortion availability doesn't increase risky behaviours either).

Anyway, imho the promotion campaign has been pretty crap - I've not seen so much as a crappy leaflet. The Terrance Higgin's Trust material is excellent so look it up and pass on the information.

So good on the THT and the NHS! Major boo to unsympathetic medical professionals. However, its up to primary care trusts whether they make PEP available - so more work to be done methinks!

CA

1 comment:

Irving Karchmar said...
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