For the second year running, 56 Dean Street is highlighting the importance of PrEP in the continued fight against HIV
Starting today Monday 28th November and coming to a close on Monday 5th December, the team at sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street is running its second annual PrEP Awareness Week. It’s a subject that the organisation is all too knowledgeable on, having prescribed almost half of England’s PrEP in 2021. This year, however, it’s aiming to target the demographic groups that are particularly at risk.
While overall new HIV transmissions have been on a downward trajectory in recent years, recent figures have revealed a few causes for concern. In 2021, cases in gay and bisexual men having sex with men (GBMSM) first diagnosed in England increased by 3% (699 in 2020 up to 721 the following year). 56 Dean Street believes that those in the 18-25-year-old age segment are at greater risk of contracting HIV because they are less aware of prevention initiatives and treatments such as PrEP.
“PrEP is the best weapon we have against HIV, and it is the key to achieving zero HIV transmission” commented Dr Alan McOwan, lead clinician at 56 Dean Street. “While monkeypox has understandably dominated news headlines of late, we’ve also seen HIV transmission rates rise in the GBMSM population, and we want to encourage all those at risk to find your nearest sexual health clinic and get on PrEP. It’s really that simple.”
Available for free on the NHS, PrEP is a pill that contains the drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine, which prevents the transmission of HIV when taken before sex. 56 Dean Street estimates that 26,736 people are at substantial risk of contracting HIV and could benefit from taking PrEP, many of whom are 18-25-year-old gay and bisexual men, students, people of colour, trans people & sex workers. For those in London interested in getting on PrEP, 56 Dean Street will be providing walk-up PrEP start and HIV testing at G-A-Y Bar on 1st December between 2pm and 8pm.
For more information on PrEP and where to access it across the UK, visit getonprep.co.uk.