Brand New Online HIV Medicine Service Takes Lead From Patients

People currently ordering Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) online, or considering doing so, have been invited to give their opinion on a new support service launching soon in Birmingham.

The national charity Saving Lives is asking people interested in PrEP to attend a meeting at the LGBT Centre, Holloway Circus, on Thursday November 9th at 7:00pm for approximately one hour. The meeting will be an opportunity to share opinions and stories about how best to support people to take their PrEP appropriately.

The charity is planning to unveil a new online service later in the year which will offer PrEP users the chance to register for a digital consultancy service aimed at supporting them in their PrEP adherence. The service will be designed with PrEP users themselves in mind – and their opinions therefore really matter to the charity.

“PrEP is not currently freely available on the NHS,” explains the charity’s Director of Operations, Dan Hartland. “That means many people in the UK are accessing this game-changing pill via online portals. Even when the NHS sponsored PrEP impact study starts we think many people will still access drug via online portals.  We want to support people to take their medicine effectively no matter how they get it.”

The project is in large part the idea of a Birmingham sexual health consultant, Dr David White. “Saving Lives is a charity already working in this area and which has a great track record of using technology to do exciting things,” he says.

“Drug adherence – taking your pills at the right time so as to have the right effects – is a problem across the healthcare system, but with PrEP the issue is even more pressing because many people ordering the drug online are not doing so under the supervision of a doctor. This is where our service can help.”

The meeting at the LGBT Centre on Holloway Circus will be a chance for current and potential PrEP users to offer guidance to the Saving Lives service designers. They will be joined by Dr White and Dr Kelly Schmidtke from the University of Warwick, and discussions will revolve around how an online adherence service could best help individuals ordering PrEP online.

The meeting will start at 7:00pm and last about an hour. The event will include delivery of a curry meal. Places are limited to fifteen people, and interested parties should book on Eventbrite.

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