Tuesday, 22 March 2016

PrEP: Waiting

Rarely has a u-turn, rarely has a breach of trust, been so misleadingly announced. Reading NHS England’s press release, ‘Update on commissioning and provision of PrEP for HIV prevention’ (21 March 2016), you would think the NHS were simply clarifying progress to date and the well understood responsibilities for the commissioning of PrEP. In fact this press release was the announcement of a shocking U-turn as NHS England suddenly abandoned its own process for the approval of PrEP, just before its conclusion, with nothing to replace it bar some loose change found down the back of the sofa....

This fiasco will have serious human consequences in the many HIV transmissions which will take place and which would undoubtedly have been prevented if the NHS had not walked away from PrEP. It epitomises the inability of our health system to value prevention. Perhaps also the failure of our health system to value equally the well-being of gay men. We cannot allow PrEP to be in limbo for a further two years, provided to just a few on a totally inequitable basis. We need Ministers to take a lead in providing as a matter of urgency a credible alternative for the commissioning and funding of PrEP for everyone at high risk as soon as possible.

Yusef Azad, National Aids Trust blog.

See also 'The government’s attitude to rising HIV transmission rates has proved reckless and negligent', Chris Godfrey, Attitude blog.

NHS refusing to offer PrEP is insulting in the face of thousands of gay men who will be diagnosed with HIV without it, Matthew Hodson, GMFA.

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