Scots actor in new HIV drug trial with only a few other people in the world

A reality TV star is calling for a life-saving anti-HIV drug to be made more widely available to help meet targets to stop the spread of the disease by 2030.

Coatbridge man Dan Harry, who shot to fame last year in Dannii Minogue’s gay dating series I Kissed A Boy, wants the accessibility of preventative medication PrEP to include pharmacies and GP surgeries.

Harry, 28, is fronting BBC documentary PrEP and Me about the impact of the drug on his life, and the lives of other gay and bisexual men.

He says a swift and wide roll-out is a “no-brainer” in the battle against the disease. He said: “You can only access PrEP through sexual health clinics, and if you live somewhere that doesn’t have a regular sexual health clinic, that becomes really tricky.

“A great change in the fight against HIV would be making it available at pharmacies and GPs now but there isn’t the funding for it yet.”

Pre-exposure prophylaxis – PrEP – is medicine taken to prevent getting HIV. It is highly effective, reducing the risk of getting the virus from sex by 99 per cent.

The Scottish Government published an HIV elimination plan last year, which included plans to “explore the potential” for the availability of the drug in wider community settings.

But the plan says the ­government is not likely to implement that until after 2026.

Harry said: “They really do need to address accessibility issues around it now.

“I’ve lived in London for a while, and for a long time in Scotland I couldn’t get access to PrEP. I even used to hear about people trying to buy it online because they couldn’t get their hands on it. Now I take it with my breakfast and I don’t even think about it.”

He added: “People should always be able to have access to PrEP, and have access quickly.

“A lot of people don’t think it’s for them but it’s such an ­important tool in ending our goal of no new cases by 2030.”

●Dan Harry’s documentary PrEP And Me is on iPlayer now.

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