ACON are holding a presentation on the latest information of HIV prevention.
ACON are holding a presentation on the latest information of HIV prevention. Jay Cronan

Latest game-changer in HIV prevention presentation

RESIDENTS of Byron Bay and the Tweed Heads area will have the chance to find out more about the latest game-changer in HIV prevention at a special community forum in May.

ACON, NSW’s leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI* health organisation, is hosting the forum in an effort to raise awareness of HIV prevention treatment PrEP.

Virtual elimination

PrEP (or pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an antiretroviral treatment taken by HIV negative people to prevent HIV infection, and is the one of the most significant advances in the ongoing effort to virtually eliminate transmission of HIV by 2020.

This game-changing prevention method made news recently following the decision of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration to officially licence the use of Truvada - the brand name drug made by Gilead that is used as PrEP.

Understanding the benefits

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said it was important for gay men to understand the benefits of PrEP and, if they’re in a high risk category, to consider getting involved in the recently announced EPIC PrEP trial.

“PrEP is a daily medication taken by HIV negative people that provides a high level of efficacy in preventing HIV infection. In Australia, gay and bisexual men continue to be most at risk of HIV and ensuring access to PrEP in outer-metro and regional settings is vital,” Mr Parkhill said.

“The newly launched EPIC NSW (Expanded PrEP In Communities) study, will see 3700 people at high risk of acquiring HIV accessing free PrEP from over 20 sites across NSW, including at Lismore, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads” Parkhill said.

Far more inclusive

“As social and cultural attitudes have shifted to be far more inclusive, many LGBTI people growing up in the country are more likely to stay local than flee to the city. Extending the message about PrEP and HIV prevention more broadly continues to be a key focus of ACON.”

Mr Parkhill said anyone is welcome to attend this FREE community forum to discuss the impact of PrEP on HIV prevention and accessing PrEP through the EPIC NSW study.

The forum will include a panel discussion featuring a local HIV specialist, HIV educators and a PrEP user. Light refreshments will be provided.

What: ACON Brunswick Heads PrEP Forum

When: Thursday 19 May, 6pm for a 6.30pm start

Where: The Happy Dolphin Café – 8 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads

RSVP: before 17/5/16