Today in The High Court a superb judgment was made on the National AIDS Trust request that NHS England should be able to commission Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as part of the arsenal to prevent new HIV infections. The judges found in favour of the Trust, and therefore the campaign to get NHS England to supply PrEP on the NHS can continue. However, NHS England have confirmed that they will appeal the judgement.
Liberal Democrat Heath Spokesperson Norman Lamb MP responded immediately to the ruling on Twitter stating that he would be writing to the Secretary of State, and NHS England Chief Exec Simon Stephens, regarding the ruling.
Chair of LGBT+ Lib Dems, Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, reacted to the news on behalf of Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece stating "The High Court decision was a victory for common sense. Well done to the National AIDS Trust for leading the case. The outcome is a logical and responsible decision which the NHS England must take on board immediately without costly spending on legal appeals. They must provide PrEP as an additional, cost-effective weapon in the fight against new HIV infections".
Adrian added, "Derogatory comments relating to the lifestyles of men who sleep with men are completely unacceptable, and we would expect apologies from NHS England for thinking in any way that those sort of comments are acceptable in the 21st century. They need to realise that the taint of homophobia is entirely unacceptable from a public service provider."
"Furthermore, owing to the pending appeal to the decision, we need to continue to campaign vociferously. Lib Dems will be debating PreP at our Conference in Brighton and I urge all other parties to do the same - to inform and educate those that might want to make societal judgments, and to explain how beneficial this drug is to HIV prevention. I would like to pay tribute to the continuing work of National AIDS Trust, Terrence Higgins Trust, GMFA and especially individual campaigners like Greg Owen, Alex Pittman, and others for setting up Iwantprepnow.com and informing others in the community."
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for the Welsh NHS to provide PreP. Cadan ap Tomos, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Equalities spokesperson, said "Now the High Court has told NHS England to stop passing the buck, the Welsh NHS needs to take the initiative and introduce PrEP as a matter of urgency."
LGBT+ Lib Dems are running a petition for PrEP which you can sign.
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