Kirby Institute Seminar Series presents
HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program, Kirby Institute
About your speaker
Professor Andrew Grulich is an internationally renowned authority in immune deficiency, infection and cancer. He has worked in HIV research for more than 25 years, and is the Head of the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute. His current research is mainly in two areas: first, the transmission and prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in homosexual men, with a focus on biomedical and behavioural prevention; and second, the intersection between infection, altered immune function and cancer, particularly as it relates to human papillomavirus-related cancer and focussing on anal cancer.
NSW was the first state in Australia to trial PrEP at a large scale, and with a growing number of PrEP implementation studies being undertaken nationally and internationally, the medication has increasingly been considered a game-changer for HIV prevention. The expanded PrEP Implementation in Communities in NSW study (EPIC-NSW) trial launched on 1 March 2016. The initial target of 3,700 high-risk men who have sex with men was reached in October 2016, with an average monthly recruitment of 499 (range: 442–555). There are currently over 9,500 participants in the trial, making it the largest PrEP trial globally.
The high-level, targeted and rapid roll-out of PrEP in NSW led to a 35% decline in state-wide HIV diagnoses in MSM, and a 44% decline in early HIV infections in MSM, to levels unprecedented since the beginning of the HIV epidemic. This was achieved less than one year after the target recruitment was reached. In a concentrated epidemic with high testing and treatment coverage, PrEP scale up led to a rapid decline in HIV transmission at the population level.