NHS England has announced that they will be funding for 10,000 people to receive the HIV prevention drug, PrEP, after a long fight with sexual health advocates in court.
NHS England previously stopped commissioning PrEP in March, prompting the National Aids Trust to take legal action in the hope of bringing PrEP back and winning the fight.
Now, over the next three years, a clinical PrEP trial will include at least 10,000 participants. NHS England will fully fund the cost of the trial phase and will work with local authorities, the Local Government Association and Public Health England to implement the findings as part of a nation roll-out.
Professor Kevin Fenton, the director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: "Currently 13,500 people are living in the UK with undiagnosed HIV and we are still seeing around 5,000 new infections each year."
"Given we are in the fourth decade of this epidemic there are too many new infections occurring, and we need to use all the tools available to save lives and money. We're delighted to be working in partnership with NHS England on this major new addition to the national HIV prevention program."
"This comes after much planning and preparation to ensure we can successfully coordinate this extremely important and large scale clinical trial."
"We encourage all those who may be at risk of HIV to ensure they get tested and we are again working with local authorities to fund the HIV home-sampling kit as well as issuing joint guidance for the first time with NICE, which supports increased update of HIV testing."
According to Buzzfeed
, the statement from NHS England stunned charities that have spent years rallying for PrEP which is already available in France, the US, Israel and Canada.
The PrEP trials will be available to anyone including women, gay and bisexual men and transgender people. NHS England also announced that they will be using non-branded versions of the drug, reducing the cost of the prevention drug dramatically.
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