HealthcareNewsPress Releases

Accessing PrEP in Northern Ireland

Truvada medication bottle with blue pillsWe’re pleased to welcome the new provision of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to people at risk of acquiring HIV in Northern Ireland through local GUM clinics across the 5 Health & Social Care Trust areas. The HIV Prevention / Risk Reduction Clinic will operate several times per week through the Belfast area GUM clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and will be open to groups at particular risk of acquiring HIV, including trans people of all genders.

As trans people are at an increased risk of HIV acquisition as compared to the general population, we welcome this 2 year pilot service, and hope to see it expand to all GUM services as a permanent service across Northern Ireland.

Please see the release by the Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland below:

The recently launched HIV Prevention Clinic/Risk Reduction clinic runs several times per week in the BHSCT GUM clinic. It has been set up to provide testing for STIs, behavioural interventions aimed at reducing risk and access to the HIV prevention drug PrEP.

All genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in Northern Ireland will be offering initial consultation and assessment appointments. Those eligible will then be referred to a centralised service in Belfast.

This project will run for 2 years.  If PrEP is accessed as part of the pilot, those eligible will need to visit a sexual health clinic four times a year.

To access PrEP in Northern Ireland you need to be:

  1. over 16, and
  2. able to attend for regular 3 month reviews in Belfast,
  3. willing to stop takingPrEP when no longer eligible,
  4. resident in Northern Ireland
  5. HIV negative and have tested for HIV at a clinic in the previous 12 months.

You’ll also need to match one or more of these descriptions:

  • HIV negative, and expect to have condomless sex with an HIV positive partner/s with a detectable viral load.
  • HIV negative and have had condomless sex in the past 3 months and think you will again in the next 3 months, and you are a: cis or transgender MSM (man who has sex with men) or transgender woman.
  • You don’t meet the first two descriptions, but you’ve been clinically assessed as being at a similar high risk of becoming HIV positive.
You can contact your local GUM clinic using the details listed online at sexualhealthni.info