London: ACTUP to protest outside Department of Health in call for PrEP
Campaigners are holding a protest on Wednesday outside the Department of Health in a bid to speed up access to PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) – a drug which can prevent HIV infection.
PrEP is available on some healthcare schemes in the US for men who have sex with men (MSM).
A two-year study into whether PrEP should be routinely made available on the NHS for MSM is currently taking place.
It was also announced that the study would be fast-tracked.
ACTUP are calling for PrEP to be made available “now” to “everyone”, including “gay men, women and trans people”, arguing that there is no further need to delay extending use.
The group is urging supporters to demonstrate on Wednesday outside the Department of Health on 133-155 Waterloo Road, London, between 9am and 10am.
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The announcement generated a mixed response. British journalist Patrick McAleenan feared such a sweeping statement could stigmatise gay men and undermine condom use.
However, other health campaigners welcomed the WHO’s intervention, viewing it as a watershed moment in the debate on HIV prevention.
Currently PrEP is only available in England through the PROUD study.
More: ACTUP, Bisexual men, England, gay and bisexual men, gay men, HIV, hiv infection, hiv testing, hiv transmission, HIV-prevention, London, men who have sex with men, MSM, PrEP, Public Health England