UK sexual health organisations are uniting during Eurovision week to give a damning verdict on NHS England’s delays on a game-changing HIV prevention drug.

And the verdict is a resounding ‘Nul Points’.

PrEP is a pill taken once a day by HIV negative people who are at high risk, to effectively prevent HIV transmission.  

The ground-breaking PROUD study showed that it reduced the risk of HIV infection by 86% for men who have sex with men, with 100% protection seen when taken as prescribed.

It is currently available in France, Israel, US, Kenya and is being trialled in many more countries around the world – but the UK is lagging behind.

Even Eurovision special guests Australia are outdoing the UK by rolling out PrEP to 2,000 men as part of a major project.

Meanwhile, the UK now has the worst HIV epidemic of any large country in western Europe, having overtaken Spain, France and Portugal.

The UK used to lead the way in tackling the HIV epidemic, but now is woefully behind other nations, because of NHS England’s delays on PrEP.   

In March, NHS England abandoned its own plans for the treatment to be made available to people at highest risk, and then weeks later - following universal outrage from the HIV community - agreed to ‘consider’ the issue once more.

NHS England now needs to get its act together and make a full commitment to HIV prevention. Every day access this life-changing treatment is delayed, seven more men who have sex with men in the UK are avoidably infected with HIV.

GMFA CEO, Matthew Hodson, says: "Every year thousands of gay and bisexual men in the UK are diagnosed with HIV. In many of these cases, if PrEP had been available, infection could have been avoided and the overall bill for HIV treatment and care could be reduced.

Neither PrEP nor condoms or any of the other tools that we can use to prevent new HIV infections are sufficient on their own to end this epidemic. However, if we are able to utilise all of the weapons in our prevention armoury, which includes PrEP, we could bring about an end to new infections within a generation."

The theme of Eurovision this year is ‘Come Together’, and so community organisations and campaigners - including GMFA - have come together to make their message heard on social media.

As the Eurovision Final approaches, PrEP supporters have begun tweeting NHS England with photos of themselves holding up ‘Nul Points’ signs.

 

How to join in:

Download your ‘Nul Points’ sign here and tweet @NHSEngland to tell them why you’re demanding PrEP to be made available for those at highest risk of HIV. For example: It’s #Eurovision week so we’re giving @NHSEngland a dismal #nulpoints on HIV prevention #PrEPnow