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18 Oct 2016

#PrEP for #HIV #prevention in #Europe (@ECDC_EU, summary)


Title: #PrEP for #HIV #prevention in #Europe.

Subject: HIV/AIDS, antiviral drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis in at risk populations; ECDC update.

Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), full PDF file: (LINK). Summary.

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Pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention in Europe


Suggested citation: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Evidence brief: Pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention in Europe. Stockholm: ECDC; 2016.

© European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, 2016


Key messages

  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can reduce the risk of infections in HIV-seronegative persons at substantial risk, as long as it is taken as prescribed.
  • Use of PrEP as an additional prevention option has the potential to reduce HIV transmission and contribute to reversing the increase in new infections in Europe.
  • France is the only country in Europe currently providing PrEP through public health services, but a number of other countries are implementing or planning to implement PrEP demonstration projects.
  • Use of antiretroviral medication for PrEP has been approved in the European Union, but countries cite the cost of drugs as a key barrier to provision of PrEP by public health services.



  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of an antiretroviral medication by people who are uninfected to prevent the acquisition of HIV.
  • The efficacy of PrEP has been shown in a number of randomised controlled trials including iPREX (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Initiative), Partners PrEP, PROUD and ANRS-IPERGAY (French Research Agency trial) [1-4’].
  • Two of these trials were conducted in Europe – PROUD in the United Kingdom and ANRS-IPERGAY in France. 
  • In 2015, the World Health Organization recommended that PrEP should be offered as an additional prevention option for people at substantial risk of HIV infection based on the results of these trials [5].
  • Current guidelines recommend that PrEP be made available to populations at high risk of acquiring HIV infection [5,6].
  • Eligibility criteria may need to be adapted as population groups at high risk of HIV differ between countries in Europe.
  • PrEP is a rapidly evolving area with new regulations and guidance being developed to reflect new available evidence.
  • In July 2016, the European Medicines Agency recommended granting market authorisation in the European Union for use of the antiretroviral medication Truvada1 for PrEP, to reduce the risk of sexually-acquired HIV infection in adults at high risk [7].
  • This recommendation was approved by the European Commission in August 2016.
  • This evidence brief summarises key issues and priorities for action in Europe.
  • It draws on data on PrEP reported to ECDC by 47 countries for Dublin Declaration monitoring in early 2016, and refers to subsequent developments as of August 2016.



1) Any mention of commercial product or service within ECDC publications is for information only. It should not be displayed in a manner which suggests endorsement by ECDC. For more information see 


Keywords: PrEP; HIV/AIDS; ECDC; European Region; Updates.