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TV doctor and ex-Brexit Party MEP faces searing backlash for flogging pricey HIV tests. They’re free through the NHS

Emma Powys Maurice February 5, 2021
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TV doctor David Bull

TV doctor David Bull offering discounted HIV tests (Twitter/@drdavidbull)

TV doctor and Brexiteer Dr David Bull has been shamed for using National HIV Testing Week to flog discounted HIV self-test kits, when similar tests are available for free on the NHS.

Dr David Bull is a medical doctor and TV presenter who’s appeared on the likes of This Morning, Richard & JudyThe Jeremy Vine Show and Most Haunted Live! He was a Brexit Party MEP for North West England from 2019 until 2020.

On Thursday (4 February) Bull marked National HIV Testing Week by announcing a partnership with sexual health brand Pasante, offering 30 per cent off HIV self-test kits.

As an additional promotion, Dr Bull offered his 27,000 followers the chance to win a lifetime supply of Pasante condoms if they followed the brand and shared his post.

He claimed it’s part of efforts towards “reaching zero HIV transmissions by 2030”, but many saw it as shameless profiteering off sexual health necessities which are rightly available for free through the NHS.

“Abhorrent,” said one Twitter user. “UK testing is free, fast and comes with professional support. It’s also rather standard in most diagnostics. There is *no* room for profit here.”

“Disgusting,” agreed another, as the backlash against the “shameless charlatan” came thick and fast.

Many noted that Dr Bull’s post was not explicitly labelled as an advert or sponsored content, and asked if he had any financial interest in promoting the branded tests.

There are an estimated 6,600 people with HIV in the UK who are undiagnosed. Testing is quick, easy and free, and you don’t have to engage with a social media promotion to get one.

Click here to find your nearest HIV testing service through the NHS, or visit the Terrence Higgins Trust for further options and advice.

PinkNews has reached out to Dr Bull for comment.

Related topics: Dr David Bull, hiv testing, National HIV Testing Week

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