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November 30, 2023
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New study into effectiveness of PrEP

Together with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the English HIV and Sexual Health Commissioners’ Group (EHSHCG) we have responded to today’s publication in the Lancet of the world’s largest real-world study into PrEP use at sexual health clinics.

The study, led by the UK Health Security Agency and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and funded by NHS England via the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) confirms that PrEP is extremely effective at preventing HIV.

In the joint statement, Amanda Healy, our Policy Lead for Health Protection, James Woolgar, Chair of the EHSHCG and Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Over recent years we have seen a positive decline in the number of people newly diagnosed with HIV. This fall was achieved thanks to the hard work and commitment of many across the system, from local government sexual health commissioners to the activists working in and for the communities they represent, supporting a combination of HIV prevention strategies.

“While no single approach on its own is a ‘silver bullet’, a key part of HIV prevention is PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). This trial confirms that PrEP has the potential to help us reduce infection still further, getting us closer to zero transmission.

“Unfortunately, we know that some communities and individuals who are eligible, are not accessing this important treatment. In a report commissioned by the English HIV and Sexual Health Commissioners’ Group, a number of recommendations were made to help authentically engage with communities to reduce these barriers across different geographies and regions and help us ensure that we improve PrEP equity.

“Government should provide long-term and sustainable public health funding if councils are going to be able to keep providing the essential sexual health services which help people stay healthy, while reducing the strain on the NHS and social care.”

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