iwantPrEPnow is the only service in the UK that provides immediate online and face to face support for potential and existing PrEP users.
Who we are
iwantPrEPnow provides approachable yet comprehensive information on what PrEP is, how to take PrEP but most importantly where and how to buy genuine generic PrEP online through trusted and verified sellers.
What started off as an information website has developed into a community healthcare system lead by and managed by Greg with support from Alex.
Greg Owen inadvertently became a 'PrEP hub'. He personally advises and supports people who are just discovering PrEP, people who are already on PrEP, the purchase procedure of PrEP, the subsequent monitoring and support for people who are on PrEP, any issues with sellers and or clinics. As well as being a hub for users he has also become central to the liaison between PrEP researchers, clinicians, clinics, charities, other grassroots and community organisations and media (national, European and international).
Last summer during a visit to the United States, Alex had began taking PrEP - as part of New York's free PrEP programme. On his return to the UK he found himself in a situation where he no longer had access to this HIV prevention tool.
Greg had managed to find some Truvada from a HIV positive friend who had changed his HIV medication and had 2 months of Truvada left that he donated. After finally getting hold of Truvada to use as PrEP, Greg went for a HIV test on 12th August 2015 only to find out that he had been a few months too late. He was diagnosed as HIV positive.
Both Greg and Alex saw a failing in so far as we know PrEP works as protection from HIV and it has been licensed in the US as a prevention tool since June 2012. But in the UK it was not available and now here were 2 friends feeling the implications of that. 1 (Greg) who had just found out he was HIV positive and the other (Alex) who was running out of the last of his American supply of PrEP and who was very aware that without access to PrEP that he too might find himself in the same situation as Greg.
Something needed to be done! So Alex and Greg did a bit of research and discovered that you could legally import 3 months of generic PrEP into the UK. Importing your own drugs was something that wasn't really done much or publicised. So after extensive research and a lot of meetings with HIV charities and HIV medical professionals, Greg and Alex gathered all of the information together in one place and presented on iwantprepnow.co.uk.
iwantprepnow have been closely involved with supportive clinicians in developing and pushing for access to PrEP support in clinics around the UK.
A bit about PrEP
PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis. Studies show PrEP to be highly effective at preventing HIV transmission in those at high risk of HIV acquisition. The PROUD study in the UK demonstrated an 86% reduction in HIV transmission. In a real life setting it has proved to be over 99% effective.
Modelling has shown that PrEP could nearly halve the number of expected HIV infections in the next 5 years when used in combination with other HIV prevention strategies.
Despite being available in a number of countries around the world, it is still not possible for PrEP to be accessed on the NHS.
PrEP should be seen as part of a range of approaches to HIV prevention and delivery should be integrated with both appropriate clinical support (such as regular HIV and STI testing an monitoring of kidney function) and other prevention interventions such as condom provision, behavioural interventions and drug and alcohol support.
Some London clinics have started to provide these services but capacity remains limited and services are not readily available outside the capital.
Watch the clip below for why we need PrEP
Who (or what) we’re raising money for
Two websites are providing a huge amount of information and support for people enquiring about or accessing PrEP and are an integral part of the approach to ensure PrEP availability on the NHS through their campaigning and advocacy: www.iwantprepnow.co.uk and www.prepster.info.
Both groups have no regular source of income, are run by volunteers and rely solely on donations or selling merchandise to support their work
Current activity on iwantPrEPnow
In one month: 35 unique enquiries making up 259 interactions (average of 7.4 interactions per individual).
Google analytics data shows that in one month there were 4,542 users on the site generating 14,038 page views; 10% of which have been outside the UK or US, mainly in Europe.
Facebook & Twitter PrEP support: on average more than 1 interaction per day on each, totaling over 80 per month, averages 5-10 exchanges per person.
This is in addition to also giving support to people living with HIV, usually around 3-4 per week with 15-20 interactions per enquiry.
This activity is limited by current capacity and is likely to increase considerably if extra resources were available.
iwantPrEPnow also has a couple of on-going media projects
Working with an independent TV production company on a documentary about iwantPrEPnow.
Co-founder Greg Owen has started shooting footage with another independent filmmaker for a BFI Flare documentary and is involved in a third film project for a leading HIV charity.
iwantPrEPnow have been invited to present at and attend several conferences and forums over the next 6 months.
How the money will be used
Increase the capacity for the provision of support and advice for being on or considering PrEP.
Ensure consistency of information and advice about PrEP so that it is current and kept up to date.
Support and coordinate the campaigning and activism work that is needed to ensure access to PrEP in the UK.
Deliver educational events and produce educational materials for both potential PrEP users and clinicians.
Provide clinical support for online resources so that we ensure consistent and relevant advice and information.
Deliver outreach and networking events to raise awareness of PrEP and signpost to relevant information, advice and clinical services
Desk space and office facilities
Marketing and social media support.
How it will be spent
Campaigning and policy work
Social media advertising
Development of additional PrEP services in conjunction with Prepster with possible carry over for an additional app based sexual health service for use by everyone – not just PrEP users.
Travel and subsistence
Conferences and meetings
Community events, venue hire and associated printed material
Set up, stock and production for online PrEP t-shirt/merchandise shop to allow us to have an ongoing source of income for the site.
Targeted social media advertising
Online marketing and outreach campaings.
Building further connections with organisations and sexual health clinics nationally to be recommended as a resource of information about PrEP access
Prides, festivals and events outreach across the UK
PrEP education and wellbeing workshops for communities and also for clinicians
Translating the website into other languages
Research, focus groups and building connections with communities to facilitate building new models of the website specifically targeted to each community i.e. BAME, trans people, sex workers, people who inject drug users, those outside of the reach of current services etc.
Make a series of videos and launch a youtube channel as a platform for PrEP users, doctors and advocates to discuss real life PrEP-related situations, problems and solutions.
Working with Prepster & others (including clinicians, doctors and researchers) to create additional online and app based services.
When do we need funding?
We need funding as soon as possible to carry on doing what we already are and to enable us to work on all the additional aspects that we just can't do without money.
We have been invited to an important conference in early July (BASHH). Greg Owen will be sitting on a PrEP panel discussion. We have been asked to provide branded items and printed information for that conference.
To date we have received a very small amount of donations from our site users which just covered our initial set up costs and marketing material. We recently received a larger donation of £1000 all of which we have invested in a website redesign to make the site appeal to a wider audience and to be more inclusive. The redesign is underway and we hope to launch the new look site at the start of June. Part of the £1000 was allocated to a small print run of iwantPrEPnow branded t-shirts.
We now need to raise funds to produce banners for conferences, flyers, stickers, additional t-shirts, branded give aways for events that we will be presenting at or attending to outreach and raise awareness of PrEP and our site.
The project has been a labor of love for Alex and Greg and it has all been done on a voluntary basis. It has required so much input that Greg has not worked in a paid job or on anything else but the site and PrEP campaigning since November 2015. He has funded this all himself with some limited financial support from his family.
The UK has embraced PrEP so enthusiastically and so quickly that the demands and enquires have reached a level where iwantPrEPnow needs to step up its structure and resource. We need your help to do that. And we need that help now.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our crowdfunding page and we are incredibly grateful for any support you wish to offer.
Please share the link with your friends on social media
Greg & Alex
Founders of iwantPrEPnow.co.uk