Demand for the ‘hugely successful’ trial has prompted researchers to increase the study size from 13,000 to 26,000 by 2020.
Health authorities in England have confirmed they will support a plan to double the number of participants in the PrEP Impact trial – ahead of a potential national roll-out.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a one-a-day tablet called Truvada that can help to signifcantly reduce the transmission rate of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Demand for the ‘hugely successful’ trial has “significantly exceeded initial expert predictions” so researchers are calling for more places to be made available – increasing the number of participants from 13,000 to up to 26,000 by 2020.
Researchers say that boosting the number of participants would help address questions about the need for PrEP among women and other groups.
‘Important HIV prevention measures’.
NHS England has said they are supportive of the researchers’ proposal and are committed to funding additional places.
It will, however, continue to be for individual local authorities to decide how many additional places they wish to take up and to give the green light to clinics to expand recruitment. A list of clinics participating in the trial can be found here.
John Stewart, Director of Specialised Commissioning at NHS England said: “Through the PrEP trial, over 10,000 people are already receiving access to this important HIV prevention measure.
“The trial researchers have submitted a case for increasing trial places and NHS England will play its part in delivering on this recommendation by committing to fund additional places in line with existing funding arrangements.
“This will help ensure the learning from the trial is robust enough to fully inform the planning of a national PrEP programme in partnership with local authorities for the future, as well as protecting more people from HIV right now”.