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56 Dean Street shortlisted for prestigious British Medical Journal Awards 2017

22 February 2017

56 Dean Street has been shortlisted in the category Prevention Team of the Year for their work with PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and offering of a PrEP service.

56 Dean Street has been shortlisted in the category Prevention Team of the Year for their work with PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and offering of a PrEP service. The Soho clinic operated by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been identifying and engaging with high risk groups, reducing undiagnosed HIV and expanding access to both PEP and PrEP.

Dr Nneka Nwokolo said:“We’re honoured that the team has been recognized for setting up this really important prevention service aimed at tipping the HIV epidemic towards zero.”

Studies have shown that HIV treatment given to gay men at high risk of HIV is over 86% effective at preventing HIV infection. As a result of this, PrEP is now used in several countries worldwide for HIV prevention. Because PrEP isn’t currently available on the NHS many gay men obtain it on the internet which is legal in UK law. Dean Street were concerned that people were buying PrEP online with no monitoring and so set up a service to ensure that they were taking it safely, checking kidney function, giving advice on safe sex and ensuring that people were testing regularly for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Dean Street enabled PrEP users to have drug levels measured at Imperial College with a grant from the St Stephen’s AIDS Trust to ensure that people were taking genuine medication. To date they have tested over 300 samples and have found no fake versions of PrEP.

Other clinics in London have gone on to adopt their monitoring guidelines and are doing the same for men on PrEP who attend their services.

56 Dean Street also runs a clinic to enable people who don’t want to buy PrEP online to purchase branded Truvada and receive monitoring, the first such dedicated service in the UK.

The BMJ Awards, now in their 9th year, are the UK's leading medical awards. They recognise and celebrate the inspirational work of healthcare teams across the country. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 4 May.

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