SMC patient group submission on PrEP

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Wednesday 8th February 2017

On Monday 6 February HIV Scotland, Waverley Care, the National AIDS Trust (NAT) and Terrence Higgins Trust submitted your experiences, comments and concerns about PrEP to the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this submission via the survey and by sharing personal stories. We received hundreds of responses to the survey and, while the space in which to do so was limited, we have done our best to represent all of your views. This is your voice we are representing and we are very grateful for your cooperation and support.

We will be informed of the decision made by the SMC on Monday 10 April 2017 and will let people know the outcome as soon as we can.

In the meantime please continue to share with us your stories and experiences of PrEP in Scotland by getting in touch with Kelsey Smith, Policy and Campaigning Officer.

Summary of our submission

The submission required us to answer eleven very specific questions, addressing issues such as how people’s day-to-day lives will be affected, what medications or solutions currently exist on the NHS in Scotland and what are the disadvantages of the new medication.

The key summary points in support of making PrEP available are:

  • Current prevention methods have not been able to reduce the number of new diagnoses of HIV in Scotland in the past ten years.
  • Nearly half of people are diagnosed late in Scotland which has serious health implications.
  • PrEP provides an opportunity for expanding our existing prevention methods and creating a comprehensive package that will be better able to meet the needs of people vulnerable to HIV.
  • Relentlessly managing the risk of HIV has a detrimental effect on mental health and the way people feel about sex.
  • Many people avoid sex, are afraid to have sex, or worry about negotiating safe sex.
  • 63% of people who would like to take PrEP do not feel existing prevention tools are sufficient to protect them from HIV.
  • 88% of respondents stated that with PrEP they feel more confident about reducing their risk of HIV.
  • 87% of people currently taking PrEP stated it has increased their quality of life.
  • PrEP use has led to individuals becoming more engaged with sexual health services and their own sexual health.
  • PrEP on the NHS will remove the stigma that people taking PrEP or wanting to are facing.
  • Having to fund PrEP independently exacerbates inequalities in health.

Read the full submission here [PDF - 161kB]