Preptrack app launches to support use of PrEP antiretroviral treatment for protection from HIV

Preptrack app launches to support use of PrEP antiretroviral treatment for protection from HIV

Jonathan Lawson

June 20, 2021

  • Free app helps manage the correct use of event-based PrEP, which can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 99%
  • PrEP is only effective if taken at specific times before and after sex, many people find this hard to manage
  • Preptrack aids scheduling of treatment and provides reminders, to help PrEP users to stay protected

21 June 2021, Cambridge, UK - The Preptrack Foundation today announced the launch of the Preptrack app, supporting more people to have safer sex by helping them to manage event-based pre-exposure prohylaxis (PrEP). The app, initially available for iPhone, tracks event-based PrEP use and reminds users when doses are due, helping them to maintain protection against HIV.

Event-based PrEP protects users from contracting HIV but it must be taken correctly to ensure proper protection and many people find this a challenge. Developed by an international team of volunteers led from Cambridge, UK, Preptrack helps users to manage their event-based PrEP schedule, giving them peace of mind and freeing them to enjoy safer sex. The Preptrack app is being launched by the Preptrack Foundation, which was established in 2020 with the aim of supporting safer sex through better PrEP use.

Correct event-based PrEP use requires a double dose (two pills) between two and 24 hours before sex. Subsequently, users take a single dose (one pill) every 24 hours until they have taken at least two doses since they last had sex. This is the 2-1-1 method. Preptrack app can remind users when to start taking PrEP if they’re expecting to have sex and then sends them further reminders for each following dose. The app also shows users their current protection status so they can check their protection on the go.

First licensed in the UK in 2016, PrEP is an antiretroviral treatment that can reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV by up to 99% if used properly. PrEP can be taken in two ways: daily, or event-based. Many users favour event-based PrEP, which is cheaper, more convenient and reduces the impact of side-effects, but only provides protection when needed. Event-based PrEP provides HIV protection during anal sex and is only suitable for use by HIV-negative men (including trans men).

Preptrack relies on user-provided information to track PrEP use, it is not a medical device and does not directly monitor HIV protection.

Samuel Bell, Chair of the Preptrack Foundation and Lead Developer for Preptrack, said:

“I started Preptrack with a simple goal to make PrEP as easy as possible. PrEP is an amazing tool for HIV prevention, but I talk to so many people who find it hard stay on track, especially when it comes to event-based dosing. Preptrack takes the stress out of managing PrEP, helping folks feel confident and secure when they’re having fun.”

Dr Alan McOwan, Service Director at 56 Dean Street sexual health clinic said:

“PrEP is a great way to protect yourself from catching HIV, but you need to take it correctly for it to work properly. You need to remember to take doses at the right times before and after sex, and this can be difficult to keep track of. Some people struggle with this, and it stops some people from using PrEP to protect themselves at all. That’s why I love the passion of the team at Preptrack and what they’re doing. They spotted the problem and this new app provides a simple, practical solution that could help a lot of people.”

The app does not collect personal data and all scheduling is done on the user’s phone, meaning no information about PrEP-use or sexual activity is accessible. App development is ongoing and an update is expected later in 2021 to support daily PrEP use too, a waiting list for the Android version is currently live on the Preptrack Foundation website.

ENDS

Press Contact

Dr Jonathan Lawson
jonathan@preptrack.co.uk
+44 20 3289 4801

About Preptrack

Preptrack supports users to feel free to enjoy having sex without worrying about their health. By using the Preptrack app, users can stay on top of event-base pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and protect themselves from HIV. Event-based PrEP provides protection for men who have sex with men during anal sex.

To use event-based PrEP, you need to take pills at the right time before and after having sex. Each course starts with two pills at least two hours before having sex, this is followed by another pill 24 hours later, and again after a further 24 hours. Users should then keep taking one pill every 24 hours until they have taken two since the last time they had sex. This can be difficult to keep track of and it can be stressful to make sure you stay fully protected. But, if used correctly, PrEP is highly effective at stopping the spread of HIV.

Preptrack provides guidance, monitoring and reminders on proper use of PrEP giving users peace of mind when they’re having fun. It has been developed by the Preptrack Foundation, a multi-talented, international team of volunteers with expertise in technology development and sexual health. The Preptrack app launches in spring 2021 for both iOS and Android, and operates in line with current sexual health advice within the UK. The app records time between PrEP doses, it does not directly monitor HIV protection.

The Preptrack Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales (reg. no. 1190908)