Press releases

Press releases and statements about HIV and related topics

NAT set to defend high court ruling on PrEP tomorrow

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

NHS England is appealing the ruling that said they unlawfully cut PrEP, the drug which prevents HIV aquisition, from their commissioning process.  Following NAT’s (National AIDS Trust) case for judicial review of NHS England’s position on PrEP, Justice Green passed down the judgment on 2 August 2016.  The appeal will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday 15 September at 10.30am.

NAT is defending their position, supported by the initial Court decision, that there is no legal impediment to NHS England funding the drug.  NHS England states that it cannot legally fund it as it is a prevention intervention.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive at NAT, said: “It’s enormously disappointing that the NHS England has insisted on re-litigating the initial judicial review decision.  The wide ranging arguments it makes will have a chilling effect on both HIV prevention and public health more widely in England.”

If NHS England loses this appeal the original decision will stand and PrEP will continue through the commissioning process.  This means it will go to committee in October in order for a decision to be made about the future commissioning of the drug. 

Notes to the editor:

  1. About NAT

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.

Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives. – a resource for HIV positive people – what everyone should know about HIV

For more information contact: or call on 020 7814 676

2. Legal representation

NAT is represented in the Court of Appeal by

Javan Herberg QC, Blackstone Chambers

Zoë Leventhal, Landmark Chambers

Louise Whitfield, Deighton Pierce Glyn

3.       Crowdfunding appeal

NAT is crowdfunding for the legal costs of the case.  The crowdfunding appeal can be found at:

4.       What is PrEP?

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) involves HIV negative people taking an antiretroviral drug to avoid getting HIV.

Multiple studies around the world have shown PrEP to be highly effective in reducing the risk of contracting HIV. The results of the PrOUD trial in England, released in 2015, prove that PrEP works and that concerns about it not working in a real world setting, were unfounded. Read more about the trial here:

Most trials of PrEP and the US CDC Guidelines involve taking PrEP daily.  A study in France, ANRS IPERGAY, has looked at the efficacy of PrEP when taken ‘on demand’, in other words not daily but only before and after sex.  There was also significant preventive benefit shown in this trial. 

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