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The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) are pleased to offer webinar access to selected education seminars from the Kirby Institute Seminar Series in July 2018. Past webinars are made available via the ASHM website at

“Drugs don’t work in people who don’t take them” – Adherence to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

Stefanie Vaccher
PhD Student/Statistician, HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program, Kirby Institute

1:00pm – 2:00pm AEST   Tuesday 3 July 2018

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective HIV prevention strategy. However, adherence has been described as the ‘Achilles heel’ of PrEP, with early clinical trials showing highly variable levels of pill-taking. As PrEP becomes more widely available, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how individuals take PrEP, why they take it in this manner, and any barriers and facilitators that they may have encountered which can impact on adherence. Drawing on diverse data including drug concentrations in blood samples, online behavioural surveys, and in-depth interviews with current and previous PrEP users, adherence to PrEP within the Australian context will be examined from a range of perspectives highlighting the relevance of these findings for PrEP users, clinicians, researchers, and policymakers alike.
Stefanie Vaccher is a PhD candidate in the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program, with her mixed-methods thesis focusing on adherence to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. During this seminar, she will present the body of work that has been completed during her candidature. Stefanie also works as a statistician and epidemiologist on the EPIC-NSW study, a PrEP implementation project for over 9000 individuals at high risk of HIV in NSW.