A man in Melbourne has tested positive for HIV at a Melbourne clinic. He was participating in a PrEP trial and this is an antiretroviral drug that was created with the attempt to stop HIV from spreading. This has spread fear about a resistance being possible, especially after rumours about the strain circulating social media over the weekend. It is not known yet whether the man in question has actually developed a drug resistant strain or whether something else is to blame. If you are HIV negative then you should be able to take PrEP daily, and it has been shown to reduce the transmission of HIV by well over 99%.
The Cost of PrEP
Globally, thousands of people use PrEP and there have only been 2 cases of people getting infected with a strain that is resistant to the drug. Of course, the person in question was in fact taking the drug correctly. If you are in Australia, or even Melbourne, then the cost for this drug would be around $1200 a month. Those who were infected with a drug resistant strain were in New York and Toronto. To this day, there has never been a drug resistant strain in Australia, so that is certainly good news. Of course, another man from Melbourne has also said that he uses the drug, but that there was a case study done that shows that there is still a risk even if you do take PrEP. He said he is going to carry on taking the medication purely because it is a great way to try and reduce HIV.
Melbourne University Study Results
A university professor at Melbourne University has said that all people who do start taking the treatment have a test done to show their own resistance to the drug before they take it and this is a great way to give people the reassurance they need. Of course, there would then be a study done to look at the genetic code of the virus and this can tell you whether or not it is going to be resistant to the drug. At the start of 2017, up to 15% of homosexual men were taking the drug in Sydney and Melbourne alone, and that there are over 600 Victorians on the waiting list as well.
The medical experts are doing everything they can to take PrEP global, and in July it is going to be introduced to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. If you were to look at the generic version of the drug, you would find that this would cost you $1200 a month to buy in Australia.