Our Chief Executive, Nathan Sparling, commented on the latest report that marks two years of a fully subsidised PrEP programme in Scotland.  

Since January 2019, approximately 100 people every month have started PrEP, with a total of 3,354 people having been prescribed PrEP to prevent HIV in the two-year period since its introduction on the NHS. 

You can find the full report here

The top-line figures for PrEP, Two Years On are:  

  • In the first two years of Scotland’s PrEPprogramme, a total of 11,289 PrEP prescriptions were recorded, with 3,354 individuals receiving one or more PrEP prescriptions during this period 
  • A steep rise in the monthly number of individuals prescribed PrEP for the first time was recorded following the implementation of the programme and reached a peak of 211 individuals in October 2017. 

Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive of HIV Scotland, said: 

PrEP remains an important part of Scotland’s prevention toolkit, and this new report shows that we are continuing to reach people who need PrEP to prevent new HIV transmissions. We know that taking PrEP effectively prevents HIV infection in almost every instance, and amongst those that take it as directed. 

“Whilst 99% of those prescribed PrEP over the last two years were male, and 98% of those were men who have sex with men, we need people to know that it isn’t just a drug for gay and bisexual men. More work is needed to ensure that everyone who needs PrEP, such as people who use drugs who may be at risk of HIV through sexual transmission, can access it.  

PrEP is a great tool to engage people in services, preventing new HIV transmissions and also reducing transmissions of STIs by engaging people in regular testing. We know that around a quarter of people getting prescribed PrEP had no attendance recorded at sexual health clinics before – and now they are testing regularly and taking their sexual health seriously.   

“As Scotland was the first country in the UK to make PrEP available free at the point of use on the NHS, we have been leading the way in terms of HIV prevention. We have all the evidence to show that PrEP is popular as a form of prevention, is cost-effective in terms of provision, and, most importantly, that it works to reduce rates of HIV transmission. It’s high time NHS England and the UK Government followed Scotland’s lead and makes PrEP available on the NHS.”