Nigel Farage claims ‘HIV sufferers’ can’t get drugs because of migrants
Nigel Farage has made more controversial claims about people with HIV – claiming “HIV sufferers” are experiencing drug shortages because of migration.
When asked which kinds of people should be allowed to enter the UK last year, Mr Farage said: “People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start.”
During the election campaign, the UK Independence Party leader repeatedly claimed the UK is ‘incapable’ of treating people with HIV because of immigration.
Health experts say that refusing to provide HIV treatments to foreign nationals would actually cost more money in the long term, as it massively increases the risk of transmission within the UK – but the UKIP leader repeated his claims on LBC this week.
He said: “I took a lot of stick for saying I didn’t believe in health tourism, and if anybody flew into Britain from anywhere in the world, and had an HIV test, that we would give them anti-retroviral drugs costing £25,000 a year.
“Since then, I’ve been written to by lots of HIV sufferers in this country, who say ‘our local clinic is now unrecognisable, we’re struggling to get the drugs we need’.
“HIV is a very emotive topic, but it takes you back to a basic question: is it the National Health Service or the International Health Service .
“I took a load of stick over that, six months on do people take those views as being outrageous? I don’t think so.”
Despite the leader’s claims that people are “struggling” to get HIV drugs, a spokesperson for NHS England told TheGayUK: “We have not been made aware of any capacity or drug shortage issues in HIV clinics.”
Speaking on LBC last month the UKIP leader admitted he had not changed his mind, and confirmed he would “bolt the door” and ban HIV-positive migrants.
UKIP’s only MP Douglas Carswell previously said: “At times, UKIP has failed to strike the right tone. By all means we should highlight the problem of health tourism. But we need to admit that using the example of HIV patients to make the point was ill-advised.”