MPs Respond To Southampton Pride’s #PREPNOW Campaign

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Local MPs have replied to Southampton Pride’s open letter calling on them to make PrEP freely available across the NHS. 

PReP is a pill that may be taken either every day or prior to sex, which prevents the spread of HIV. If taken correctly PReP is nearly 100% effective.

It was recently discovered that there has been a 71% fall in new diagnoses of HIV amongst gay and bisexual men, something which has been attributed to an increase in PReP users.

In Southampton Pride’s open letter, the Organising Committee note the disparity of PReP provision within the UK. In Scotland, the drug is more widely available, with the Welsh trial being more open than England’s. A lack of trial spaces and funding has apparently led to people on the waiting list contracting HIV. PReP that is privately sourced may be untested and around triple the price.

Caroline Nokes, the Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North agreed that PReP should be available on the NHS to at-risk groups. Nokes adds that she will raise this issue with the Department for Health and Social Care:

Alan Whitehead, the Labour MP for Southampton Test has also agreed that the disparity of PReP provision within the UK needs to be addressed. Whitehead has written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ensure that sufficient funding is allocated for trials across England.

Royston Smith, the Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen has since written to the Minister, adding that the current provision of PReP is counter-productive.

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Politics Editor 2019/20 Studying Politics & International Relations

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