- Access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in England is via the PrEP Impact Trial, which has a cap of 13,000 places
- The trial is expected to be full for gay and bisexual men by early 2019, and PrEP is already unavailable in some areas
The open letter by parliamentarians says demand for the trial has far outstripped places and calls for an immediate increase in places so that no one is turned away. Some gay and bisexual men in England are already being denied access to PrEP, either because places in their area are full or because the trial has no local centres.
The Terence Higgins Trust, supporting the letter, is calling for PrEP to be made routinely available on the NHS in England by April 2019. It is already available on the NHS in Scotland, and via an uncapped study in Wales.
‘PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV and we must fully utilise it in England in order to achieve our ambitious aim of ending new HIV transmissions,’ said Terrence Higgins Trust Chief Executive Ian Green.
The letter cites media reports of a person becoming infected with HIV after being refused access to PrEP because no trial places were available at their local clinic. Fourteen months after the trial began, there are still a number of trial sites that have yet to open, particularly in the north of England.