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PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of HIV, but knowledge of it still remains scarce outside of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The drug reduces the risk of getting the virus from sex by 99 per cent when taken correctly, though findings from a YouGov poll last year, which was conducted on behalf of Terrence Higgins Trust, showed that ignorance about it is still rife.

In fact, only a quarter of the British public knew that an HIV-positive person cannot pass on the virus when on effective treatment.

READ MORE: PrEP: 5 questions about the HIV prevention drug answered

In addition, a staggering 77 per cent of people didn’t know that England can end new HIV cases by 2030 as the government proposed on World AIDS Day in 2021.

Sexual health clinics and charities both stress the importance of knowing your status in order to achieve this goal.

However, only 27 per cent of people knew that you can safely and accurately test for HIV without visiting a clinic in person.

Home tests are available to order online throughout the UK and mean you can do a sexual health screening from the comfort of your own home, if preferred.

To find out what the general public knows about PrEP a year since the data was published, GAY TIMES took to the streets of Soho in London to ask people whether or not they’d heard of the HIV prevention drug.

There was a mixed response from those we asked, with those who had heard of it appearing to be well informed of what it is and does.

“It’s a preventative medication that you take to stop you contracting HIV,” one said.

“In a lot of the gay bars, there’s signs and posters all around the place advising you to take PrEP.

READ MORE: ‘I was diagnosed with HIV after being refused PrEP – now I want to raise awareness’

“Dean Street and the other clinics make it very available as well, I think.”

Those who were unfamiliar with PrEP were often quite shocked that a drug like this isn’t being advertised to the public more.

“I don’t think the news is everywhere,” someone said. “I don’t think that enough people know about it.”

To see how others answered, click here or keep scrolling to watch the video.


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