Statement: National AIDS Trust response to Spending Review
National AIDS Trust's response to the Government's one-year Spending Review.
Kat Smithson, Director of Policy at National AIDS Trust, said:
“We welcome the commitment of a further £3bn to the NHS to deal with the significant additional pressures placed on our health service by COVID-19. But it is vital that these pressures do not limit progress on other health challenges, including HIV. It’s bitterly disappointing that in 2020, of all years, public health has again been de-prioritised and kicked into the long grass.
“There have been unanimous calls from health charities, public health and NHS professionals, for a specific and significant boost to public health funding. With over £700m cut from public health since 2014, the system is overstretched. This has had real impact on local sexual health services and HIV prevention efforts. Already existing inequalities in HIV outcomes are deepening and marginalisation becoming worse. Today’s budget has not addressed this challenge and we need to see a long-term commitment to funding public health adequately.
“It is concerning that funding for PrEP and other HIV prevention programmes has not been set out for the next financial year. If this is not urgently clarified this will be a massive step backwards in tackling HIV. Without specific funding for PrEP, we will be off-track on delivering it to all those who need it and will not meet our national commitment to ending new cases of HIV by 2030. The independent HIV Commission, set up by National AIDS Trust, Terrence Higgins Trust and Elton John AIDS Foundation to look at how we achieve the 2030 goal, will report next week. We urge this Government to respond meaningfully and ensure that the necessary resources are made available to implement the recommendations through an HIV action plan.”
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