It is seven years since PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) – the drug taken by HIV-negative people that prevents HIV acquisition – was licensed for use in the USA. It is three years since NAT successfully challenged NHS England in the courts on its refusal to consider making PrEP available.
In England, however, PrEP is still only accessible on the NHS as part of the PrEP Impact Trial which began in October 2017. The trial was supposed to answer questions around PrEP demand, uptake and impact. In reality, it’s being used to ration PrEP provision and cap the numbers of people – predominately gay and bisexual men – using it.
In 2019 gay and bisexual men desperately in need of PrEP are being denied it. In many sexual health clinics they are being turned away or put on waiting lists. While waiting for PrEP we know some are then acquiring HIV, a lifelong serious medical condition.
We are witnessing the miserable spectacle of various parts of the health system blaming each other for this debacle. It is outrageous that the fifth largest economy in the world is unwilling to provide this game-changing drug, cheaply available at generic prices, which is easy to prescribe and almost 100 per cent effective at preventing HIV transmission. Read more via HuffPo