UK fails to reduce numbers of HIV diagnoses - The NHS shouldn't withold PrEP any longer
There were 6,151 new HIV diagnoses in 2014, including the highest number on record among gay and bisexual men, (3,360) - Public Health England announced today.
Yusef Azad, Director of Strategy at NAT, said: “We are seeing nine gay men getting an HIV diagnosis every day, which is nine too many. Important prevention work goes on, and without it the HIV rates would be even higher. But the reality is current prevention work is making no dent on these numbers.
“We can look at the example of San Francisco for what works, last year the city saw its lowest number of new HIV diagnoses on record. And since 2012, when PrEP was introduced, new diagnoses have dropped by 30 percent. This is what we need to be doing.
“PrEP is an essential additional prevention option for people at high HIV risk, and it is a scandal they still can’t access it here in the UK. A significant percentage of those 6,151 people diagnosed last year would be still be HIV negative if they had taken PrEP.
“NAT is calling on the NHS to provide PrEP without delay. For as long as the NHS fails to provide PrEP it remains accountable for the unacceptably high number of people getting HIV on its watch.”
PrEP involves people taking a daily anti-HIV drug in order to stop getting HIV. It has been available in the US since 2012. It is still impossible to get it on the NHS in the UK.
Notes to the editor:
The full statistical release can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hiv-in-the-united-kingdom