This “Ground-Breaking” HIV Drug Is Now Available On The NHS

Photographed By Tayler Smith.
PrEP, the HIV prevention drug which has been hailed as "ground-breaking," will be available on the NHS in England from next spring. NHS England and Public Health England said in a statement today that "at least 10,000" people will be given the drug over the next three years as part of a "large-scale clinical trial." The trial's results will then be used in "paving the way for a full roll-out." PrEP - which stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis - is a daily pill that can reduce a person's chances of contracting HIV by up to 99%. Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of the National AIDS Trust, told Refinery29 in August that "PrEP has the potential to turn the tide on the HIV epidemic." Despite its effectiveness, PrEP has been at the centre of a high-profile court battle this year. Last month the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling stating that NHS England does have the power to commission the drug. NHS England had tried to argue that because the drug works by preventing infection rather than treating it, only local authorities had the power to commission it. Deborah Gold of the National Aids Trust said in response to today's news: "We are absolutely delighted that following our wins in court, NHS England, working with Public Health England and local government, will be now making Prep available on a large scale, and quickly, to those who need it." Though PrEP will be available on the NHS in England from next spring, the BBC reports that the NHS in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have yet to make a decision on the drug.

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