"We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of today's Judicial Review, PrEP is such a vital and effective component in our range of tools against HIV. Having PrEP available to those that need it means we are one step closer to eradicating onward transmission in the UK. I would like to thank our colleagues in the HIV and health sector who under the expert leadership of NAT have kept up the pressure on the Government and NHS England, that has made this landmark moment possible.
"We are however disappointed that NHS England has decided to appeal this judgment. An appeal will further delay any potential commissioning of PrEP for months.", Dr Greg Ussher, METRO Charity CEO.
NHS England said it is up to local authorities to provide Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug, but this was challenged by the National Aids Trust (NAT). With the resounding support of the HIV and health sector.
Using PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90%. The once-a-day pill, works by disabling the virus to stop it multiplying.
PrEP is currently used in America, Canada, Australia and France to help protect the most at-risk gay men.
NHS England has explained that PrEP is preventative, and so not its responsibility, stating it did not have the "legal power to commission PrEP" and that under 2013 regulations "local authorities are the responsible commissioner for HIV prevention services".
NHS England has also warned that if it prioritises PrEP, there is a risk of a legal challenge from people wanting similar access to other preventative treatments.
NAT and other HIV and health organisations, including METRO, believe local authorities do not have sole responsibility for HIV prevention in England. Leading to NAT's legal challenge.
Kwasi - Mentoring
During the 6 month programme, I developed a close relationship with my mentor. Knowing that I would have to talk to him honestly about what I did in the previous 2 weeks somehow forced me to be safe every time I had an encounter.
Sarah - Counselling
The help and understanding I experienced from everyone I came into contact with whilst using the Metroís services was amazing.
Michael - Counselling
I gained a huge amount of help from the counselling service and would like to thank the service for offering so much support.
Simon - Mentoring
By discussing things at such an intimate level with my mentor, I really came face to face with some of the reasons why I was taking chances before.
Ebere - First Point
I wish this service was around when I was newly diagnosed. I felt my world had fallen apart around me and I didn't know which way to turn for support. You are offering a very valuable service.
Peter- First Point
I felt so relieved to have a named First Point worker who I can call if I need to be referred to a particular service.
Abimbola- First Point
It has been a long time since I felt that someone actually listened to me.
Joe - Mentoring
The programme had such an impact on my life that I decided to come on board as a volunteer mentor!
David - Counselling
Outstanding people. Outstanding service. Outstanding counselling. Truly something that has allowed me to turn my life around.
Joan - First Point
Thank you so much for taking time to listen to me and truly understand how I am feeling. This is the only appointment I've had regarding HIV that didnít feel rushed.