World AIDS Day – Access to PrEP and Opt-out HIV Testing
I am writing to you regarding access to PrEP outside sexual health settings and the opt-out HIV testing programme.
As I am sure you are aware, the 1 December is World AIDS Day, where we commemorate those who have died over the past 40 years. The UK has made progress in ending HIV in the country, but if we are to meet the target of zero new transmissions by 2030, there is still much more that needs to be done.
I understand that the HIV prevention drug PrEP is rightly available on the NHS. Nevertheless, thousands are still finding it difficult to access it due to the under-resourcing of sexual health services, and it cannot be provided by GPs, pharmacies or community and maternity services.
Please can you outline what steps the government is taking to ensure that everyone who is at risk of acquiring HIV can access PrEP?
The UK must use every available lever to end HIV transmissions in every community.
The England opt-out HIV testing pilot programme has been effective in increasing the rate of early diagnosis. By ensuring all blood tests conducted in A&E test for HIV, the opt-out pilot programme has newly identified 102 people with HIV. As the data evidences the pilot’s success, what steps is your department taking to expand the programme across all towns and cities with high HIV prevalence?
I look forward to receiving your response to my questions in due course.
Rachel Hopkins MP
Member of Parliament for Luton South