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HIV drug PrEP to be available across England

Local authorities will receive £16 million in 2020 to 2021 to deliver the preventative HIV treatment PrEP.

The funding from the Department of Health and Social Care will ensure anyone who is at a high risk of contracting HIV will receive PrEP from their local sexual health clinic to reduce their risk of getting the virus.

Open bottle of prescription PrEP Pills for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis to help protect people from HIV.

When taken daily, PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV transmission from sex or injection drug use. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily.

PrEP is currently available in England through the 3-year PrEP impact trial, which has recruited over 20,000 participants.

The new £16 million funding will also enable people on the trial to continue to use PrEP when the trial ends.

An estimated 103,800 people were living with HIV in the UK in 2018, with 7,500 of those unaware of their infection.

Figures show that HIV transmissions in gay and bisexual men have fallen by 71.4% since 2014.

In January 2019 the government committed to reaching zero HIV transmissions by 2030. This depends on continuing prevention efforts such as making PrEP available to everyone who needs it.

HIV testing in a wide range of settings, increased condom use and the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) have all contributed to the drop in transmissions.