Consensus Statement On Women & PrEP

The evidence that PrEP prevents HIV for both cis and trans women is indisputable

  • A review of all 15 PrEP trials and observational studies confirms that there are no significant differences between men and cis or trans women in terms of PrEP effectiveness: “PrEP is effective in reducing risk of HIV acquisition across types of sexual exposure, sexes, PrEP regimens and dosing schemes” (Fonner et al 2016)
  • The European AIDS Clinical Society (2015) and WHO (2015) recommend PrEP for all those at high risk for HIV (defined by WHO as those in communities and sexual networks with around 3% HIV incidence or higher)

Women in Europe can be at significant risk of HIV and could benefit from PrEP

  • Women represent a third of all new infections in Europe (ECDC 2016), with trans women estimated to have a prevalence rate 49 times higher than the general population (Baral et al 2012)
  • There is a particular need to address the HIV prevention needs of women who have recently migrated to Europe or who live in diaspora communities
  • Despite the benefits for women, only 3% of PrEP users in France are women, even one year after PrEP introduction
  • Countries that are in the process of PrEP roll out, including Scotland, Belgium, and Norway must take steps to include and engage women at risk in outreach and education campaigns
  • Cis and trans women should be included in all upcoming demonstration studies of PrEP, including the planned IMPACT trial in England

Women can adhere to PrEP but may not be aware of their risk

  • There are specific challenges for women including risk perception and adherence, and these must be attended to in PrEP roll out
  • Awareness of PrEP’s effectiveness also plays a role in better adherence
  • If you take it, you are protected
PrEP is already contributing to the reduction in HIV incidence among gay men and other MSM in parts of the US and the UK – it can do the same for women!

The aim of this joint statement is to raise awareness of the role that PrEP can play in reducing women’s risk of HIV and represents the consensus from a stakeholder meeting on 22nd May 2017 in London.

This consensus statement aims to promote dissemination of accurate information about the use of PrEP in women and to support the inclusion of cis and trans women in upcoming trials such as IMPACT. We encourage you to include it in your organisational position statements, websites and PrEP promotion materials

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