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PrEP roll-out on NHS England continues to be delayed

The HIV prevention drug was due to be made freely available in April.

2020-06-05

Update 17.05 05/06/20: This article originally ran under the headline "PrEP roll-out on NHS England 'indefinitely postponed'." The National Aids Trust has clarified that while the roll-out continues to be delayed, work remains underway to make it publicly available. 

PrEP's planned roll-out on NHS England continues to be delayed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following years of campaigning, the government announced before the UK went into lockdown in March that the HIV-prevention drug would be made freely available on NHS England in April..

PrEP, which has been shown to prevent the transmission of HIV in more than 99% of cases, is currently only available on the NHS in England through limited-capacity trials, which will continue to run. 

It has been available on the NHS in Scotland since 2017. 

HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust criticised the delay, with Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy, telling iNews: "In March we welcomed the announcement of the uncapping of PrEP in England as an important day in the course of the HIV epidemic.



"The impact of Covid has been even greater than we knew then but we will hold the Government to account on its commitments because PrEP is such an important HIV prevention tool.

"We will continue to work to ensure that roll out happens as a matter of urgency and push for a firm timeline from the Government on when uncapped access to PrEP will be available across England.

"No one can be left behind when it comes to HIV prevention as progress that isn’t felt by everyone isn’t true progress."

PrEP can currently accessed privately - for more information visit iwantprepnow.co.uk.