Sunday 23 July 2017

The pill prevents HIV but it won't cure behaviours that caused crisis

The widespread use of the HIV-prevention drug is a dilemma as well as a solution

Concerns: PrEP is currently available, but only on prescription from a doctor and it costs around €450 a month
Concerns: PrEP is currently available, but only on prescription from a doctor and it costs around €450 a month

Donal Lynch

And so the debate about PrEP - the daily HIV prevention pill - continues to rage.

On the one hand, you have campaigners who argue that the pill must be publicly funded - it is currently available, but only on prescription from a doctor (and it costs around €450 a month). This, they say, is going to be one of the most important bulwarks against the rising levels of HIV infection that have been recorded in Ireland.

On the other hand, you have people like journalist Derek Byrne, who argued last week in the Irish Times that making PrEP so widely available discourages personal responsibility, since why bother with self-control when the stakes are no longer life and death.

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