Pioneering research into HIV prevention by Professor Claudia Estcourt is supporting Scotland’s drive to eliminate HIV infection from its population. As an expert in Sexual Health and HIV, Professor Estcourt is also leading the use of digital technology to tackle the UK’s increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). People across Scotland who are at high risk of acquiring HIV are now able to access Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a pill taken before sex to prevent HIV transmission.
Professor Estcourt’s team at Glasgow Caledonian University in collaboration with clinical and public health colleagues have shown that almost 1,900 people who were prescribed PrEP in one of the world’s first national PrEP programmes had dramatically reduced their chances of catching HIV. Professor Estcourt is also leading efforts to cut infection rates by developing more effective Partner Notification tools to enable the sexual partners of people diagnosed with infections, including HIV, to be rapidly contacted, tested and supported. The five-year LUSTRUM programme aims to use Partner Notification to cut reinfection rates across the UK, reducing the risk of infertility in women, and reduce undiagnosed HIV.