Beyond PrEParing: equitable access, problematising evidence, and mainstreaming the implementation of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Australia

This panel of short presentations explores three aspects of the ‘Disparities in PrEP access’ project, which interviewed key informants in the HIV response about the roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): (1) how ‘equitable access’ to PrEP (beyond urban communities of cisgender white gay men) was conceptualised; (2) how evidence regarding the ‘problems’ of STIs and condom use was mobilised and contested; and (3) how the role of non-specialist GPs in delivering PrEP was both affirmed and questioned. Now Australia has moved beyond the era of ‘PrEParing’ for PrEP and is adapting to its mainstream availability, this seminar provides an opportunity to reflect on how we have responded to these issues of early rollout. It is hoped the discussion will highlight current issues in the mainstreaming of this revolutionary HIV prevention drug.

Christy Newman is Associate Professor at the Centre for Social Research in Health, where she has investigated a broad range of social issues relating to health, sexuality and relationships over the last 15 years. Primarily a qualitative researcher, most of her research has been focused in the fields of sexual and reproductive health, blood borne virus prevention and care, and sexual and gender diversity.

Martin Holt is a Professor at the Centre for Social Research in Health. Over the last 10 years he has led a program of research investigating engagement with biomedical HIV prevention methods by gay and bisexual men, and changes in community attitudes, practices and norms. He uses social science theory and critical public health research to understand the complex effects of interventions and programs.

Anthony K J Smith is a Scientia Ph.D. Candidate at the Centre for Social Research in Health. His Ph.D. project PrEP in Practice: Clinician Perspectives on Prescribing PrEP in Australia utilises qualitative methods to explore clinical prescribing of PrEP, from the prescriber’s perspective. Anthony is broadly interested in the sociology of medicine, medical anthropology, feminist and queer discourses, and social aspects of HIV/AIDS.

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