"We are very surprised and disappointed by NHS England's announcement on Monday, that PrEP, an HIV prevention drug proven to be effective in stopping HIV transmission, will not be made available as expected.", Dr Greg Ussher, METRO CEO.
METRO Charity works closely with and supports the position of the National AIDS Trust (NAT), their Chief Executive Deborah Gold stated, "NAT shares the anger and distress felt by many thousands of people across the country at NHS England's decision to abandon its work to provide PrEP, near the end of the process. In a shocking U-turn, NHS England has pulled the plug on over 18 months of hard work which demonstrated the need, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of PrEP."
The two-year PROUD Study, funded by the Medical Research Council and Public Health England, reported that Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) reduced the risk of HIV infection by 86% for gay and other men who have sex with men when delivered in sexual health clinics in England.
The PrEP drug Truvada has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation and is already routinely available to at-risk men in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, France and Israel.
Despite the evidence and actions of other organisations/countries and the input of key experts here in the UK, NHS England has decided not to take PrEP through the final steps of the process due to decide on where to make PrEP available.
Instead announcing a further two-year project to run early implementer test sites that aim to reach just 500 men.
There is also confusion on where the commissioning of PrEP sits in our health system, with NHS England effectively saying it is not their responsibility. NHS England press release.
"PrEP is a proven and key tool in a modern and effective collection of prevention options.
"A tool that needs to be made available sooner, not later, and to the most at risk populations - yes gay men and men who have sex with men, but not forgetting men and women in our African communities.", Dr Greg Ussher
How can I get involved?
Tweet using #WhereIsPrEP and @NHSEngland to raise your concerns
Support and access more info with Prepster.
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