The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved the treatment known as Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) that reduces the chances of being infected with HIV.
The NHS Scotland-approved, anti-HIV medication PrEP is taken by people who are HIV-negative to lower their risk of acquiring HIV infection.
Truvada has been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium for use as PrEP.
SMC’s decision came following an application submitted by a manufacturer of PrEP in December last year. It incorporates patient group representations that were submitted in February this year.
The PrEP4Scotland Coalition comprising HIV Scotland, Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, Waverley Care, and National AIDS Trust (NAT) said: “We applaud the SMC for taking this bold step to tackling HIV in Scotland.
“PrEP provides opportunities to reinvigorate how people at higher risk of HIV exposure engage with testing and prevention opportunities, and it is a vital opportunity to make a real reduction in the number of new HIV transmissions.”
HIV Scotland, Waverley Care, Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland and NAT submitted a joint ‘Patient Group Submission’ to SMC after taking input from more than 350 community members about what difference the drug can make to their life.
Multiple studies worldwide have shown PrEP to be effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV.
British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) president Dr Elizabeth Carlin said: “PrEP has rightly been described as a ‘game changer’ and has been shown to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 86%.
“As a next step we urge that treatment is made available to the people that need it as quickly as possible, both in Scotland and ultimately across the whole UK.”