Lib Dems demand improved HIV strategy

Southwark Liberal Democrats successfully passed a motion at Council Assembly on Wednesday night, calling for a new strategy that makes the preventative drug PrEP more widely available.

The number of people diagnosed with HIV has dropped by a sixth in the last four years, though Southwark still has the second highest level in the UK.

The Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug is a relatively recent measure to prevent the spread of HIV infection, but its effectiveness has been such that demand is very high and requests for the drug are oversubscribed. The Terrence Higgins Trust estimate that every day the NHS delays access to PrEP, 17 people are diagnosed with HIV.

Southwark Liberal Democrats Motion at Council Assembly therefore called on the UK government to set a target of ending transmissions by 2025 and to fully fund the roll out of PrEP across England and a matter of priority.

Victor Chamberlain, the Southwark Liberal Democrat councilor who proposed the motion said:

‘It’s great that the number of HIV infections are going down, but Southwark has the second highest level in all of the UK. PrEP has proven itself to make a real impact as a means of preventing infection and is hugely oversubscribed. The UK government should extend it beyond the trial stage and roll it out across the country as a matter of priority.’