HIV prevention drugs should be available on Welsh NHS

Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Eluned Parrott has called for the Welsh Government to take steps to ensure that Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is available to people who are most at risk of contracting HIV.

Following World AIDS Day on Tuesday, Eluned challenged the Welsh Health Minister to show leadership and introduce PrEP on the Welsh NHS. The Minister replied that he was waiting for England to lead on the issue.

Eluned Parrott AM, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales Central, said:

“Over the last 20 years huge steps have been taken forward in helping people with an HIV infection to manage their condition. While this is a way from a cure yet, it still represents huge progress.

“However prevention of HIV infection is now possible thanks to the development of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). A tablet a day can prevent people who are at risk of being exposed to the HIV virus from contracting HIV. This is a massive step forward, and yet three years after the Federal Drug Administration in the USA approved PrEP for use, it still isn’t available in Wales.

“People who have partners with the HIV virus and other high risk groups should be offered this treatment as a matter of urgency, not only for their own health and wellbeing but also to help reduce the prevalence of HIV in the population as a whole. Perhaps one day, HIV could even be eliminated.

“I call on the Welsh and UK governments to work together to ensure those who need it most are aware of this treatment and have access to it.”

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