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The Health ministry promotes pre-exposure prophylaxis as a means of meeting the goal to end the HIV pandemic by 2030

Thursday 13 May 2021

An Implementation Manual has been published with the consensus of all the agents involved and, in line with the recommendations issued by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), the Information System for PrEP programmes in Spain (SIPrEP) has been set up.

This system captures the number of people on PrEP, adherence, the drop-out frequency and reasons, and the incidence of sexually transmitted infections among PrEP users, among other health issues.

Having this information will allow the implementation of PrEP in Spain to be monitored and optimised, gaining evidence on which to base decision-making to end the HIV epidemic.

SIPrEP is a novel project, coordinated by the SPNS and the Spanish Interdisciplinary AIDS Society (SEISIDA) through a collaboration agreement, with the participation of the regional governments, the HIV Surveillance and Risk Behaviour Unit of the National Epidemiology Centre and Research Network on AIDS (RIS).

SIPrEP is currently in its implementation phase with the ultimate goal of achieving national coverage by 2021.

Common goal UNAIDS

Although the incidence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has fallen in recent years, the rate in Spain is still above the European average. The UNAIDStarget for 2020 was to reduce the number of new diagnoses per year by 75% compared to 2010; for Spain, this would have meant a reduction to below 1,500 diagnosed cases. However, Spain reported more than 3,500 new diagnoses in 2019.

In this scenario, HIV prevention strategies need to be strengthened to improve control of the epidemic, as will be reflected in the new Strategic Plan for the Prevention of HIV and other STIs 2021-2030, which is to be published soon. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective measure.

In Spain, public funding for this strategy by the National Health System was included in October 2019. To date, and despite the difficulties arising from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a total of 13 regional governments have already implemented PrEP in their regions and the others are working to do so.

Non official translation