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Patchy Prevention Green Paper: NAT response

Monday, July 22, 2019

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), said: “We warmly welcome the green paper on prevention. With increasing demand for sexual health services and a vanishing pool of public health funding to deliver them, the proposed national strategy on sexual health is a desperately needed intervention in the deepening sexual health crisis. We further welcome the reiterated commitment to ending HIV transmission by 2030. The independent HIV Commission we launched earlier today in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust will provide the evidence-based recommendations to make this goal a reality.

“Despite the overwhelming evidence that the HIV prevention drug PrEP is a game-changer in fighting the HIV epidemic, the green paper is disappointingly light on commitment and detail on how the Government proposes to move towards routine commissioning of the drug. We urge the Department of Health and Social Care to take concrete action – and fast. The current situation of patchy access across the country, with at-risk people being turned away from clinics and later acquiring HIV simply must end.

“We are disappointed that the green paper misses an opportunity to commit to the necessary brave response to the crisis in drug-related deaths in the UK. Current policies are ignoring this tragedy, and we need new harm-reduction measure urgently. We cannot keep using old policies to battle a new crisis, and the Government’s dogged refusal to trial drug consumption rooms is costing people their lives. Harm reduction policies are proven to curb problematic drug use, blood-borne virus infections, and drug-related deaths – all without increasing crime. We need the Government to wake up to this reality and the green paper sadly gives no indication that this is likely.

“NAT will be responding fully to the green paper in due course.”

For more details or further comment, contact senior press officer Charlie Alderwick: 020 7814 6727

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.

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