NAT welcomes NHS England decision to provide treatment immediately to those diagnosed with HIV
NHS England announced today that it has agreed that HIV antiretroviral medication will be provided to patients immediately once someone is diagnosed.
NAT (National AIDS Trust) welcomes this decision, which follows overwhelming scientific evidence that treating HIV as early as possible significantly increases life expectancy and reduces ill-health. Furthermore, getting people on HIV treatment sooner also means they will become non-infectious more quickly and so reduce risks of further HIV transmission.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT, said: "This decision of NHS England is good news and evidence-based. It will mean better health for all people living with HIV from diagnosis onwards. It will bring benefits to public health as HIV treatment means people with HIV cannot pass HIV on to others.
"It also is a wake-up call for us on HIV testing. Any delays in diagnosis are delays in benefiting from HIV treatment with possible harms to individual and public health. With 12% of people with HIV undiagnosed and 42% of people diagnosed late, we urgently need strategies and resources to improve testing rates and enable people to benefit from immediate treatment."
Notes to editors:
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.