NHS England yesterday announced plans to extend their national HIV prevention work to include PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). PrEP will initially be available to at least 10,000 people under the large-scale trial, which will also look at how PrEP is implemented and ‘pave the way’ for a full roll out of PrEP.
The move comes after NHS England lost a Court of Appeal hearing brought by the National AIDS Trust over who held legal responsibility to fund the intervention.
London Friend welcomes the news, which will make this potentially game-changing HIV prevention intervention available to those at risk over the next three years. However, we know that the trial alone is not enough to provide the long-term solutions to make PrEP widely available to all those at risk. We call, on NHS England to make a commitment that PrEP will be fully funded following this trial.
The campaign to make PrEP available has been a long one, and London Friend is proud to support it as a member of the United4PrEP coalition, a group of the leading UK-based HIV organisations and individuals calling for PrEP. We particularly thank the work of our friends at National AIDS Trust for bringing the legal challenge to NHS England, and to Prepster and I Want PrEP Now, for helping to make PrEP available safely to gay and bisexual men whilst we have waited for the NHS’ decision.