PrEP uptake in Scotland exceeds expectations in first year


  • Jo Whelan
  • Medical News
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During the first year of the NHS PrEP service in Scotland, 1,872 individuals were prescribed PrEP. The numbers have exceeded predictions, partly because large numbers of individuals at high risk of HIV have engaged with sexual health services for the first time, according to Health Protection Scotland’s report on the first year of the programme.

  • 99% of those prescribed PrEP were men who have sex with men; the majority reported condomless anal sex with multiple partners as a reason for being eligible for NHS PrEP.
  • 39% of those prescribed PrEP were aged 20-29 years and almost a third were aged 40 or above.
  • Most (74%) were prescribed a daily regimen rather than an event-based prescription, and about 10% were prescribed both types of regimen.
  • Around a fifth were attending sexual health services for the very first time or for the first time since current database records began, suggesting that PrEP is drawing high-risk individuals in to services.

Although the uptake has put pressure on services, Health Protection Scotland said ‘year one has been a resounding success in terms of establishing a new nationwide service’. The report covers the period from July 2017 to July 2018.