Laura Sharman 16 March 2020

Councils secure funding to deliver preventative HIV drug

Councils secure funding to deliver preventative HIV drug image

Local authorities in England will receive £16m to deliver the preventative HIV treatment PrEP.

The drug is currently available through a three-year impact trial, with studies showing it reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by 99% when taken daily.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has been lobbying for the funding, warning councils are unable to fund the treatment themselves.

The new funding will mean anyone at a high risk of contracting HIV will receive PrEP from their local sexual health clinic.

The move is part of the Government’s aim to end HIV transmissions by 2030.

Health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, said: ‘While it is encouraging to see HIV transmissions continue to fall across the UK, I am determined to do more, and end HIV transmission.

‘So we are rolling out PrEP and making it available across the country – with evidence showing it almost completely eradicates the chances of getting HIV. This will benefit tens of thousands of people’s lives, and drive us towards our ambition of zero HIV transmissions in this decade.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘PrEP is a game-changer in preventing new HIV infections and a vital weapon in our prevention armoury. We are pleased the Government has heard councils’ call and provided this much-needed funding, ahead of the roll-out of this potentially life-saving drug.’

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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