Stonewall Cymru welcomes a new trial announced today in Wales to provide PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) to those at high risk of HIV infection.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health Wellbeing and Sport’s announcement follows a recommendation by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) this week not to fund the treatment.
The AWMSG said that the case for cost-effectiveness ‘had not been proven’. We, along with campaigners including the Terrence Higgins Trust and the National Aids Trust, strongly disagreed.
The case for PrEP to be available from the NHS to groups at high risk of contracting HIV is strong
We immediately made our disappointment clear and vowed to continue the PrEP campaign.
Several medical trials have proven PrEP to be highly effective in lowering rates of HIV infection.
The case for PrEP to be available from the NHS to groups at high risk of contracting HIV is strong – it costs significantly more to treat HIV than to prevent it.
This is why we asked politicians to support us during the 2016 Welsh Assembly elections.
This trial will allow Wales to protect those most at risk, while also saving NHS Wales money.
However, PrEP is not the only way to tackle HIV transmission.
We need to see high-quality relationship and sex education – the majority of LGBT young people say they still don’t receive the information or guidance they need to stay safe.
We will continue to work with the Welsh Government and others to update existing guidance on SRE, ensuring LGBT young people are equipped to make safe, healthy decisions about their wellbeing.