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UK HIV and LGBT health charities make history as they march for PrEP at Pride in London

By Fabio Crispim

Thousands of people took to London streets to celebrate Pride yesterday (June 25).

Last month we reported that NHS England refused to commission PrEP and, according to Gay Star News, the biggest HIV and LGBT health charities marched together for the first time ever in a campaign to bring PrEP to the UK.

The groups that marched included Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust, GMFA, Positive East, METRO, 56 Dean Street and more.

Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, Ian Green, said, “I’ve been moved and inspired to see the community come together on this special day for the LGBT community in the fight for PrEP. Gay men are still disproportionately affected by HIV, so the impact on the LGBT community, if PrEP was made available to high-risk groups, could be extraordinary.”

“In the face of buck passing from NHS England and the lack of leadership from the government, our unity is more important than ever. We are stronger and louder together, and we mustn’t let HIV prevention be swept under the rug.”

CEO of METRO Charity, Dr Greg Ussher, said, “Pride in London is the perfect occasion to stand together and demand immediate access to PrEP.”

Matthew Hodson from GMFA said, “The earliest response to HIV and AIDS came from community activists, many of them gay and bisexual men, but also lesbians, trans people and the heterosexual men and women who were our allies. Our friends were dying and we needed action.”

He continued, “Today we see that same passion and commitment among the LGBT and HIV communities, demanding that we have the necessary tools to finally bring about an end to new HIV infections. Our organisations are united with doctors, nurses, experts in HIV research and public health in calling for PrEP to be made available to those who need it most.”

“We fought then and we continue the fight now,” he adds.