- The Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has set out a commitment to end transmission of HIV in England by 2030.
- This will be brought about through better prevention, detection, and treatment.
- The announcement was made at the AIDSfree Cities Global Forum in London on 30 January.
The work to end transmissions will be supported by £600,000 in funding from Public Health England’s HIV Prevention Innovation Fund. This money will go to 13 schemes, described by the Department of Health as “innovative”, that are aimed at cutting transmission and reducing stigma. Reducing stigma is important because it is seen as a barrier to testing.
An expert group will be created to develop an action plan. Prevention will be at the heart of the plan, along with measurable action points for groups of people who are at risk of infection, the Department of Health said.
Campaigners welcomed the commitment but warned that the goal will not be achieved without adequate funding. “Meaningful progress to the 2030 goal will not happen whilst sexual health services creak at the seams due to continued underinvestment in public health,” said Deborah Gold, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust. “People are unable to access the HIV prevention drug PrEP and are now going on to acquire HIV. Matt Hancock must act quickly and decisively to ensure that public health is adequately funded and PrEP available to all who need it in England.”