Slovenia's national HIV PrEP programme: Evaluation of real-world implementation

Int J STD AIDS. 2024 Feb 20:9564624241233792. doi: 10.1177/09564624241233792. Online ahead of print.


Background: The aim of our study was to evaluate real-world implementation of Slovenia's national HIV PrEP programme, which is fully covered by our national health insurance.

Methods: In retrospective cohort study we analysed the data from all men who have sex with men (MSM) who were enrolled in PrEP programme of our clinic between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022.

Results: A total of 190 MSM with an average age of 36.7 years were included in our analysis. 151 (79.5%) decided for event-driven PrEP and 39 (20.5%) opted for daily PrEP. Self-reported adherence was 95%. Among eligibility criteria, unprotected sex was the most common one, followed by one or more STIs in the past, use of chemsex and use of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis in the past. No new cases of HIV infection and no significant deterioration of kidney or liver function were observed during the follow-up. Sixty-seven episodes of STIs were diagnosed and treated. Gonorrhea (32), chlamydia (14), and Mpox (10) were the most common ones.

Conclusions: PrEP was successfully implemented into everyday clinical practice, proving to be both safe and effective. High number of diagnosed STIs suggests that the PrEP programme, combined with STI screening and vaccination, provides a strong public health impact among MSM in Slovenia.

Keywords: Europe; antiretroviral therapy; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); prevention; viral disease.