TV doctor and ex-Brexit Party MEP faces searing backlash for flogging pricey HIV tests. They’re free through the NHS
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 & Judy, The 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.
— CAL ROSCOW (@calroscow) February 5, 2021
“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.
Is he flogging something that you can get for free via the NHS?
Once a grifter, always a grifter.
— The Bishop 🇬🇧🧑🏻✈️🚦🚅🚚🚛🚚🚛🚚🥬🍌🐠🦄🇪🇺 (@das_bish) February 4, 2021
David, this is really grim. These tests are widely available completely free. Profiteering from this is just….🤮
— Laura Nadia Hunt (@LauraNadiaHunt) February 4, 2021
Disgusting. Testing for HIV is free at sexual health clinics and free from charities through the post.
Why am i not surprised a brexiteer is trying to make money off of something that people can and should get for free
— Bradley Wall 🏳️🌈 🇪🇺🇬🇧🌍 (@BWallArthur) February 4, 2021
Trained by the NHS, now trying to profiteer from people concerned they may be HIV positive, classy. pic.twitter.com/MVU47mdhfF
— Chrysha, 💙🇪🇺🇬🇧🇵🇱🇫🇷🇩🇪🇮🇪🇺🇸😷🕷 (@chrysha22) February 4, 2021
Or go down to your nearest GUM clinic and get one free, paid for out of all our taxes, as an expression of mutual solidarity and risk pooling, and not profit taking like this shyster.
— Oscar Do Gooder Franklin (@OscarNMFranklin) February 4, 2021
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.