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HIV Prevention Toolkit

PrEP has now been added to the PBS in Australia!

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is the regular use of HIV medication by HIV-negative people to prevent acquisition of the virus. It is an important new tool in the HIV prevention toolkit, and will support Australia to meet its target of ending HIV transmission. 

The release of PrEP is a timely reminder to review the range of HIV prevention tools available in Australia. Take a look below to see which tools are right for you!

For more information on HIV prevention contact NTAHC in Darwin or Alice Springs. 


PrEP

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It involves HIV-negative people taking antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV infection – just one tablet a day. Studies from around the world have shown that when PrEP is taken daily it is highly effective at preventing HIV.

Unlike post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is taken after potential exposure to HIV, PrEP is taken on an ongoing basis before potentially being exposed.

As of 1 April 2018, any person with a current Medicare card, who is HIV negative and at risk of infection can access PrEP at a subsidised rate through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). 

For more information, download this comprehensive fact sheet or check out our webpage, PrEP - What You Need To Know! 

To access PrEP, talk to your local GP or visit a Clinic 34 location near you. 

Darwin's Northide Health NT runs a dedicated PrEP clinic with a PrEP GP specialist. 


U=U (Undetecable = Untransmittable)

U=U refers to the understanding that people living with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load by regularly taking anti-retroviral medication cannot infect others through sexual transmission.

In recent years, a number of trials (HPTN052PARTNER, and the Australian study Opposites Attract) have confirmed that maintaining an undetecable viral load is effective at preventing HIV transmission. In these studies there were no cases of HIV transmission amongst heterosexual and same-sex couples where one partner was HIV-positive and the other negative (serodiscordant), where the HIV-positive partner’s viral load was undetectable.

This means that there is ZERO risk of HIV transmission from someone on HIV treatment with an undetectable viral load.

For more information on U=U, hace a look at this endorsement from Living Positive Victoria.


Sterile Injecting Equipment

Another importnant tool in the HIV prevention toolkit is the use of sterile injecting equipment by people who inject drugs (PWID) to avoid cross-contamination of body fluids when injecting. Sterile injecting equipment can be obtained from Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) across the country.

NTAHC runs 3 primary NSPs with locations in Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs as part of our overall Harm Reduction strategy. 

NTAHC NSP’s provide:

  • Free sterile injecting equipment
  • Educational resources on safe injecting practices
  • Take-away sharps containers for the safe disposal of used equipment
  • Disposal facilities at each site for the disposal of used equipment
  • Free condoms and lube to promote safer sex

The primary aim of NSPs is to reduce the risk of transmission of blood borne viruses (HIV, Hepatitis B & C) and reduce the other harms associated with injecting drug uses.

To find an NSP near you check out this handy directory put together by the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL).


Condoms and Water-Based Lube

The use of condoms is an effective strategy to prevent HIV, with condoms creating a barrier preventing the passing of fluids from one partner to the other during sexual activity. Condoms are best used with water-based or silicon-based lubricants as they do not compromise the structure of the condom or eat away at the rubber or latex as oil-based lubricants will.

For a FREE condom and lube pack visit NTAHC locations in Darwin, Alice Springs and Palmerston.

Our SWOP Shop (Darwin and Alice Springs) offers bulk and discounted condoms and lube at the lowest prices. 

Free condoms and lube are also available from Clinic 34 locations across the NT.

For more information about condoms and lube, download our Condoms - Did You Know? poster!

Download The HIV Toolkit Fact Sheet 


This information has been collated with the assistance of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.