NHS England have endorsed a request from researchers leading the PrEP Impact Trial to double the number of places on the trial. This would provide access to the HIV prevention pill for a total of 26,000 people in England.
Prior to this, it looked highly likely that all places for gay and bisexual men would be taken imminently, with over 40 clinics already turning away gay and bisexual men from accessing the PrEP trial. We also know that, since the trial launched, some gay and bisexual men who were denied access then went on to be diagnosed with HIV.
Debbie Laycock, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: ‘We fully support the request and welcome NHS England’s commitment to ensure that significantly more people at risk of HIV in England are able to access PrEP. Now every effort must be made by all parties to ensure access to these additional places happens as soon as possible because PrEP has a crucial role to play in ending new HIV infections in the UK.
‘PrEP has a vital role to play if we’re to achieve the aim of zero new HIV transmissions alongside condoms, regular HIV testing and effective HIV treatment, which stops HIV from being passed on. It’s crucial that it is fully utilised in order for us to achieve this ambitious but achievable aim.’