The Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH) welcomes the recommendation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PDF) that HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) should receive a public subsidy in Australia. A public subsidy will make PrEP affordable for many people at risk of HIV, helping to expand access and use across Australia.

PrEP involves regularly taking the antiretroviral drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir to protect oneself from HIV infection. It has been repeatedly demonstrated to be highly effective in preventing HIV, and has positive benefits, such as reducing users’ fears and concerns about acquiring HIV during sex.

CSRH has conducted research into community attitudes to PrEP since 2011, and has consistently advocated for broader access to PrEP for people at risk of HIV. Our most recent research findings indicate growing interest in and support for PrEP, and a rapid increase in PrEP use by gay and bisexual men between 2015 and 2017.