Joint research on HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) has been recognised as the 2023 Herald Higher Education Research Project of the Year Award. The research is led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in partnership with Public Health Scotland (PHS), NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and other organisations across Scotland.
PrEP is an intervention where people take anti-HIV medication to stop them acquiring the virus. The joint research has shown how Scotland’s national HIV PrEP programme has substantially reduced new HIV infections among men who have sex with men.
The research has also highlighted that work is still needed to deliver these benefits to Scotland’s most marginalised groups. Studies have shown that key population groups are under-accessing PrEP, such as women of colour and people who inject drugs, and it has highlighted how the service needs to adapt in order to broaden the uptake beyond men who have sex with men.
Dr Jim McMenamin, Head of Health Protection (Infection Services) at PHS said:
"It is good to see the work of the GCU research team being recognised and whilst much has been done to improve public health, PHS and our partners recognise the continuing efforts needed to address challenges to tackle inequalities in HIV PrEP delivery."
Professor Rak Nandwani, Non-Executive Board member at PHS, Honorary Professor at GCU and former chair of the Scottish Government’s HIV Transmission Elimination Oversight Group, said:
"I am delighted to see the GCU Beyond BBV team win the award for their important research on HIV prevention, working in close partnership with colleagues at PHS and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This research has already informed Scotland’s ambitious target and plans to eliminate HIV transmission by 2030. Continuing innovation from this strong partnership will be crucial to achieve this ambition."
Sharon Hutchinson, Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at GCU and Consultant Scientist at PHS, said:
"I’m thrilled that our research team at GCU has won this prestigious award. It is in recognition of the great strides that have been made in Scotland to prevent HIV transmission and the importance of research and innovation to that effort, involving developing services to reach those most in need and often most marginalised in society. It was fitting that we were joined by some of our key research partners at the award ceremony, as the collaborative effort involved in our research - with PHS, NHS Boards, third sector organisations and others – is fundamental to driving change."
Read about the Beyond BBV research programme.