AIDS charity exposes huge government cuts to HIV support
A leading HIV AIDS charity has reported “alarming” cuts to HIV support.
The National AIDS Trust (NAT) has made the claims in the wake of the chancellor’s most recent budget.
Freedom of Information requests by the charity have revealed a trend of cuts or complete decommissioning of HIV services in England and Wales.
According to the data, there has been an average cut of 28% in spending on HIV support services between 2015 and 2017.
In some local authorities, the cuts have been as large as 50% to vital services.
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Deborah Gold, chief executive of NAT, said: “The disappearance of support for people living with HIV in England and Wales is extremely alarming,” she said.
“This trend leaves people living with HIV without the support they need to live well.
“This is dangerous and short-sighted, creating a need for more urgent and more expensive care for people living with HIV further down the line.”
It has also been reported that new HIV infection rates have fallen by a third in the most recent figures, primarily due to the expanded use of PrEP.
The NHS has spent an incredible amount fighting against funding PrEP, at the same time as the funding cuts for HIV support.
NAT’s Chief Exec added: “With this evidence of widespread decommissioning of crucial and, at times, life-saving services, which ensure people living with HIV can manage their long-term condition, we are calling on NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to accept their role in ensuring needs are met.
“Support services alleviate the pressure on clinical services, meaning their provision is a responsibility CCGs are currently not fulfilling.”
Apple yesterday announced that they are creating a new red iPhone with some proceeds going to an HIV AIDS charity.