BREAKING NEWS (31/05/2016):

NHS England maintains that the provision of PrEP remains outside of its remit, following a legal challenge issued by the National AIDS Trust.

GMFA’s Matthew Hodson, said:

"I’m shocked, disappointed and saddened that NHS England is ducking any responsibility to provide PrEP.

At the recent LGBT reception, the Prime Minister made a commitment to do all that is within his power to speed access to PrEP. Adding PrEP to our HIV prevention armoury could have the power to turn the tide on new HIV infections. This would have been a great legacy for any Government. But once again, today, that opportunity has been dismissed.

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 current spend on HIV prevention is less than 2% of what we spend on treatment and care. Investment in prevention now will save costs in treatment later.

We’ve seen early indicators of significant success in cities such as San Francisco which have allocated substantial resources towards cutting new HIV infections. This work combines early initiation of treatment, community-based prevention messages highlighting the ongoing role of condoms in improving sexual health and PrEP.

HIV and health charities, professional medical associations and gay activists have come together to demand PrEP.  Now is not the time to condemn the choices of others. We should be wary about any divisions within our community being used to delay access to PrEP. Our fight must be to ensure that those who will clearly benefit from PrEP have access to it, not be against them for needing it. 

HIV infection has been a burden on the gay, bisexual and trans communities since the 1980s. Young gay men have never known a time before HIV.

We have all the tools that we need to bring an end to new infections. We must not waste this opportunity."


(GMFA 'More to Safer Sex' campaign PrEP ad)

FOLLOW MATTHEW ON TWITTER

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PREP