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Minister to introduce PrEP programme this year

Health Minister, Simon Harris has reaffirmed his commitment to introducing a PrEP programme this year.

He welcomed the significant progress that has been made over the past number of years but acknowledged more must be done to reduce the number of people diagnosed with HIV.

He said “Reducing the number of new HIV diagnoses in Ireland remains a priority focus for me as Minister for Health. I remain absolutely committed to rolling out the PrEP programme in 2019.

“There was a fall in the number of diagnoses of HIV in 2017. However, we must remain vigilant and take all steps to reduce the rate of the disease and to protect those who contract HIV.”

On the issue of PrEP, Minister Harris said “The Health Information Quality Authority was asked by the Government to carry out a Health Technology Assessment of introducing a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) programme in Ireland.

“The aim is to establish the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of providing a PrEP programme in Ireland. I am committed to rolling out the PrEP programme in 2019, as outlined in the National Sexual Health Strategy 2015–2020, and considerable work has already been completed by the HSE to prepare for the introduction of a PrEP programme that meets appropriate standards.”