A group of 32 charities and community groups, including NAZ, National AIDS Trust, and Terrence Higgins Trust have come together to demand the HIV prevention drug PrEP be routinely available in sexual health clinics by 1 April 2019 at the latest.

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) prevents people getting HIV and is almost 100% effective when taken as prescribed.

A large-scale PrEP trial, called the PrEP IMPACT trial, is currently taking place providing access to 10,000 people over three years. 

The group calls out “a clear equalities deficit” within the PrEP IMPACT Trial, citing “limited efforts” to engage with BAME communities, women, trans people, and heterosexual men. Over 7,000 of the 10,000 places have already been filled in less than a year, and NHS England’s own trial update states it is “not felt to be feasible to recruit 2,000 women and other people [these include BAME communities] within the time period covered by the trial”. Half of these places have now been reallocated.

In June 2018, NHS England announced it’s considering adding a further 3,000 places to the trial. 

While we welcome this, according to the statement, “it only provides temporary relief. With continuing high demand for PrEP”, it continues, “clinics will again be full and turning people away within a few months”.