Norway is set to make LGBT+ history as the first country to give at-risk gay men the HIV preventing, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug, Truvada.
The World Health Organisation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorses PrEP as an effective drug for reducing the risk of HIV infection by up to 86% when taken daily.
Norway is the second European country to make PrEP available, after France, and has announced this week that the drug will be free for at-risk patients via the country's National Health Scheme. They are the first country to make the drug free.
PinkNews reports that the news was announced by Bent Høie, Norway's Minister for Health and Social Care, after taking the advice and recommendations of the Health Directorate and the Institute of Public Health.
“PrEP will contribute to reducing the rate of new infections in the gay community, as gay men are facing a risk of infection much higher than the general population," said Leif-Ove Hansen, the president of HIV Norway - the national organisation for people living with HIV, who have been campaigning for this decision for the past two years.
He continued: “Condom use is on the decline, and we are happy that PrEP now is an integrated part of the public health service.”
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