Generic PrEP purchased online is being
credited with plunging rates of new HIV infections among gay men in
According to New Scientist, four
London sexual health clinics saw dramatic drops in new cases of
around 40 percent last year compared to 2015.
Experts theorize that an underground
network of cheap generic PrEP drugs may have contributed to the
Will Nutland at the London School of
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has created a website called PrEPster
that informs people about how to acquire PrEP online.
“We need to be very cautious at this
stage, but I can't see what else it can be,” Nutland
Scientist. “Something extraordinary has happened in the
last 12 months because of a bunch of DIY activists working off our
While PrEP has been approved in the UK
to prevent HIV infection, it is currently not available on the
National Health Service. The brand-name drug Truvada can be
purchased privately but is expensive. Instead, generic versions of
the drug from India and Swaziland are being purchased online. Such
transactions are frowned upon, because the process could be illegal
or the drugs may not be safe.
However, New Scientist reports
that no pills have yet to be found to be fake.