NHS England has just published a press release explaining what is happening with the promised consultation on PrEP. They have said that there will not be the planned public consultation or decision in June. Instead, they have announced that PrEP will be made available to only 500 gay men in specific parts of England. See the announcement here.

This is what we are saying in response:

"NAT shares the anger and distress felt by many thousands of people across the country at NHS England’s decision to abandon its work to provide PrEP, near the very end of the process. In a shocking U-turn, NHS England has pulled the plug on over 18 months of hard work which demonstrated the need, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of PrEP.

“Instead of a long-term policy to give PrEP to all who need it, there will be £2 million over two years for 500 gay men ‘most at risk’. The decision is not informed by any due process; the amount of money is arbitrary; the claim that more ‘testing’ of PrEP is needed is disingenuous. 500 does not remotely cover the number of gay men at high risk of HIV nor meet the needs of heterosexuals at risk. There is no clarity within the Department of Health, the NHS or Public Health England as to who long-term is responsible to commission and fund PrEP.

“This is simple maladministration with serious consequences. Over 5,000 gay men will get HIV over the next two years – very many of whom would not have done so if PrEP had been delivered as proposed.
"The US, Canada, France, Israel, Kenya have all made PrEP available. Faced with one of the most exciting prevention options to emerge since the HIV epidemic began, and which offers the prospect of real success in combatting this virus, the NHS has failed miserably to deliver.

“We call on Ministers to intervene and reverse this deplorable decision – securing a process to provide PrEP on the basis of evidence and need.”

Thank you to everyone who wrote to the Chief Executive of NHS England and those who took part in the part in the #WhereIsPrEP campaign on social media. This really put the pressure on NHS England to come clean about what was going on.

This is not the end of the campaign for PrEP for everyone who needs it in England. The organisations, networks and individual activists who have been involved in #WhereIsPrEP are deciding what next steps to take. One thing is certain: we will need your support!