Students' Union To Mandate For PrEP in Ireland

The TCD Students' Union leaders who are now mandated to introduce PrEP

The Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union Council have voted to mandate for PrEP access in Ireland


Yesterday, the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TDSU) Council voted to mandate for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) to be available to those who need it in Ireland.

PrEP is a drug taken once daily which is highly effective at stopping HIV-negative people from contracting HIV.

The LGBT Rights Officer from TCDSU, Sean O’Carroll, said: “[PrEP is] a very important tool in the set of HIV prevention methods.”

“Because of the stigma surrounding people with HIV [PrEP is] viewed as non-necessary.”

TCDSU Welfare officer Aoibhinn Loughlin said that the HIV preventing medication “is an essential piece of healthcare that will make a difference not jut for the LGBT community, but also for [intravenous drug users].”


Political Action

This mandate echoes recent stirrings in the political world. Last week, Eamon Ryan from the Green Party urged the government in the Dáil to make PrEP a priority.

Ryan’s push in the Dáil came shortly after Act Up Dublin protested outside the Department of Health offices in Dublin, hoping to ‘wake up’ the government to the need for PrEP to be introduced.

A community forum on PrEP was organised by Act Up Dublin in October, where those advocating for PrEP to be introduced heard what the LGBT community had to say on the matter and answered their questions about the as-of-yet-unavailable drug.


About PrEP

While PrEP has been available in the UK for some time, it has yet to be approved by the HSE as a means of preventing HIV-negative people from becoming HIV-positive.

Truvada, which is the drug used for PrEP, has already been approved in Ireland as part of PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis).

For those who are unfamiliar with it, PEP can stop HIV from taking hold in the body up to 72 hours after a potential exposure to the virus.

In this month’s issue of GCN, Martijn Tulp wrote about his decision to take part in a PrEP trial in Amsterdam, the stigma attached to those who are taking PrEP, and the benefits and side-effects of such medication.

Image: TCDSU

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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