Over the last few months on Hide and Seek we have discussed Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP from many points of view.
We have heard from the HIV sector, international and local experts, researchers, doctors, trial participants and engaged individuals who in partnership with their GP, have chosen to take control of the sexual health by firstly acknowledging they might be at risk of contracting HIV. Most importantly, they have actively pursued the necessary steps to import the drug from overseas.
Nobody believes that accessing PrEP from overseas is “world’s best practise” and in a country that proudly claims to have the world’s best health system, it is hard to comprehend the lack of political will-power to deliver PrEP to those who want it and need it now.
A few months back you may recall one Friday morning Melbourne woke to its CBD featuring posters that simply said, “You Can Fuck Raw – PrEP Works – No More HIV”.
Regardless of what one thinks of the guerrilla poster campaign, it has catapulted PrEP into mainstream conscience and gay men’s conversations.
On December 1, World AIDS day, during the events being held at the Doherty Institute, Dean Beck had the privilege of hosting the PrEParation Community Forum, sponsored by the Victorian AIDS Council.
With over 100 people in attendance and many key stake holders from various sectors of our collective communities, the conversation was bound to be very real and robust. It certainly was just that.
On the panel:
- Associate Professor Edwina Wright – VicPrEP Trial Researcher at the Burnet institute.
- Steven Spencer – PrEP consumer (import), sexual health advocate and Director of PrEPaccessNOW
- Daniel MacPhail – VicPrEP trial Participant and co-founder of the Facebook group ‘PrEPed For Change’
- Brent Allan – Executive Officer of Living Positive Victoria
- David Vakalis – Sociologist and PrEP consumer (import)
- Simon Ruth – CEO of the Victorian AIDS Council